Ocean cargo: The Shipping Act of 2010 signals end to cartels

The bill also will empower the FMC to mediate contract disputes…something shippers have long waited for
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 23, 2010 - LM Editorial

As widely expected, the Federal Maritime Commission is likely to be given more authority next year to end ocean carrier pricing collusion.

The Shipping Act of 2010, introduced by Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., yesterday will abolish carrier antitrust immunity and prevent carrier executives from convening so-called “discussion groups” used to formalize rate strategy.

The bill also will empower the FMC to mediate contract disputes…something shippers have long waited for.

“The carrier’s freewheeling market share approach to contracts is what took rates down in the first place,” said Jon Monroe, president of Monroe Consulting in Shanghai. “But the real frustration was the lack of communication and the lack of a real partnership.”

As reported in LM, a draft of this bill had been endorsed by a large coalition of shippers this summer. U.S. exporters of agricultural goods had been especially vocal in their support of legislation that might also encourage carriers to provide more containers for westbound deployment.

Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, apparently had been listening.

“Even under the current regulatory scheme, immunity for agreements has long outlived its usefulness,” he said in a statement.

Michael Berzon, chairman of the National Industrial Transportation League’s ocean committee, told LM last month that U.S.shippers were making a compelling argument.

“If enacted, the end of the limited anti-trust immunity would follow the action taken by European regulators,” he said.  “Since the elimination of the EU Block Exemption, it prohibits consultation by groups of carriers to discuss rates in the European trades.”



About the Author

image
Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world's most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The acquisition encompasses loose fill manufacturing and distribution, as well as several other redistribution products, including bubble wrap, bubble-lined mailers and rolled foam.

Akro-Mils’ donation to Habitat for Humanity included plastic storage bins and containers, portable organizers, storage cases, plastic and steel storage cabinets, and louvered bench racks.

PMMI to honor Class of 2014 at PACK EXPO International in reception benefiting industry education

Join Associate Editor Josh Bond and lift truck industry training expert, Jim Shephard share all the findings of Modern's annual Lift Truck User Survey. During this webcast, you'll receive detailed insights into users' practices around procuring, utilizing and maintaining their fleets.

Having grown from a local tool and die business established in 1962, company becomes 20th certified robot integrator.

Article Topics

News · Container · Transportation · Trade · Shipping · Exports · All topics

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. Patrick covers international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. Contact Patrick Burnson

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.