FMC increases reporting for carriers as shippers demand more action

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FMC increases reporting requirements for air carriers

Posted on May 5, 2022 6:23 PM by

The Maritime Executive







The Federal Maritime Commission continues to strengthen its monitoring efforts to examine the trade policies of major shipping companies. The FMC’s efforts to increase mandatory reporting requirements for the three shipping alliances come after President Biden criticized the alliances during his State of the Union address and as the import community export continues to demand even stricter enforcement against carriers and fees.


After a year-long review by the FMC’s Bureau of Trade Analysis (BTA) to determine what data is needed to properly analyze carrier behavior and market trends, the commission adopted a series of new reporting requirements. . The three global shipping alliances (2M, OCEAN and The Alliance) and each of their member companies will now be required to provide enhanced price and capacity information. Under the new requirements, carriers participating in an alliance will be required to submit pricing information for the freight they carry on major trade lanes, and carriers and alliances will be mandated to submit comprehensive information relating to the management of ability.


According to the FMC, with uniform data, it will have a greater ability to assess the behavior of ocean carriers and the competitiveness of the market. “The newly mandated information will provide the commission’s Office of Trade Analysis with insight into pricing for individual trade lanes and by container type and service. It will also provide more immediate information regarding capacity management decisions of shipping carriers and alliances,” the FMC said in announcing the new requirements.


The three shipping alliances are already subject to the most frequent and stringent monitoring requirements of any type of agreement filed with the FMC. Currently, the commission is collecting information, including detailed operational data, minutes of meetings between agreement officials, and regular meetings with agreement parties where commission staff address issues of concern. .


Citing the rapid growth of the three alliances, President Biden in February 2022 directed the Department of Justice working with the FMC to increase carrier oversight and enforcement of existing antitrust laws. The president said that from 1996 to 2011 the alliances operated about 30% of global container shipping compared to today, where they control 80% of global container ship capacity and 95% of commercial lines is- west. According to administration officials, the dominance of the alliances on the roads was leading to reduced competition, soaring profits and the collapse of the export market.


Last week, the FMC just launched National Shippers Advisory Committee, made up of a who’s who of exporters and importers, recommended that the FMC extend its oversight further to all segments of the supply chain affected by a bill of lading. The advisory panel focuses on the fees passed on and imposed on shippers appealing to the FMC as part of its oversight of carriers to increase restrictions specifically on D&D fees. They recommended that the FMC restrict the ability of carriers to pass on demurrage charges at terminals and assume responsibility for monitoring demurrage charges at ports and railways. The advisory group asserted that shippers are not the cause of port congestion and should not pay charges passed on by carriers due to delays.


The FMC recognizes that one of its primary responsibilities, through the BTA, is to continuously monitor compliance with agreement clearances and to determine whether agreements have an anti-competitive effect on the market. The new requirements are the latest step in efforts to increase carrier oversight and precede potentially increased FMC responsibilities included in pending shipping reform legislation currently before the US Congress.





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