Public Participation Sought in EU Study

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In his address to the Intermodal Association of North America, the National Industrial Transportation League, and the Transportation Intermediaries Association during the Super Session, Economic Turmoil in a Sea of Financial Changes, at the 2009 Intermodal Expo and TransComp Exhibition, Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. announced further details of the Commission's plans to undertake a comprehensive study of the impact on the U.S. trades as a result of the elimination of shipping conferences by the European Union (EU). 
Additionally, the Chairman recognized in his remarks that ports, carriers and other maritime interests are impacted by the on-going global economic downturn, and reiterated the Obama Administration's willingness to assist regulated parties in obtaining financial relief.
The Commission's study will cover two years before and after the October 2008 EU repeal of its block exemption for liner conferences.  It will include analysis of changes in carrier market structures, competition, agreements, services, vessel capacity, rates and surcharges.  The study also, will explore the extent to which the repeal altered liner cargo growth and/or the mix of commodities shipped and the competitiveness of U.S. container exports.
This fall, the Commission has begun consulting with key stakeholders to discuss parameters of the study, proposed methodologies, industry interviews and study milestones.  Publication of a general Notice of Inquiry on our website to gather input and data from interested parties is expected during the second half of 2010.
The Chairman concluded his remarks during the session by stating, "I cannot overemphasize the importance of input from the shipper community for the success of this study."

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