FMC Raises the Monitoring Report Requirements for Global Carrier Alliances

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 25, 2020

FMC Chairman Michael Khouri. Photo: FMC

FMC Chairman Michael Khouri. Photo: FMC

Pursuant to direction from FMC Chairman Michael Khouri, the Federal Maritime Commission has issued letters to the three global carrier alliances (2M, THE, and OCEAN) requiring that certain carrier-specific trade data currently filed with the Commission quarterly, must now be submitted on a monthly basis.

The Commission’s Bureau of Trade Analysis (BTA) has traditionally relied on a combination of individual vessel operator confidentially provided data and information from commercially available industry data to monitor and analyze container carrier freight rates and service market trends. 

The Commission’s BTA has determined that given recent fluctuations in the markets, they need to receive key trade data directly from alliance carriers on a more frequent basis in order to better position staff economists to timely evaluate changes in the transpacific and transatlantic trades and report findings to the Commission.

“If we detect any indication of carrier behavior that may violate the Shipping Act’s section 6(g) competition standard, we will immediately seek to address these concerns with direct carrier discussions," said Chairman Khouri. "If necessary, the FMC will go to federal court to seek an injunction to enjoin further operation of the alliance agreement.”

A core function of the FMC is the monitoring of ocean carrier alliance agreements filed with the agency. The FMC receives and evaluates exhaustive, commercially sensitive information from regulated entities, in this case, parties to an ocean carrier alliance agreement. That information is carefully analyzed, along with other information that permits FMC staff to determine trends in the marketplace and the potential for illegal behavior.


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