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HomeMaritimeFMC Increases Reporting for Carriers as Shippers Call for More Action

FMC Increases Reporting for Carriers as Shippers Call for More Action

The Federal Maritime Commission is stepping up its attempts to analyze the business policies of the world’s largest ocean carriers. After a year-long investigation to identify the data needed to assess carrier behavior and market trends adequately, the FMC’s Bureau of Trade Analysis (BTA) has established several new reporting requirements. These actions follow US President Joe Biden criticizing three ocean carrier alliances during his State of the Union speech. Along with the many changes being implemented, the import-export community calls for even more vigorous enforcement of the carriers’ costs.

The three global ocean carrier alliances are 2M, OCEAN, and The Alliance. Due to new regulations getting put into place, each of their member companies must provide enhanced pricing and capacity information. To specify, these changes require that any carriers in an alliance now have to disclose price information for the cargo they transport on significant trade routes, with both carriers and alliances being required to give complete capacity management information.

The FMC hopes that with these changes, and an increase in data, it will have a greater capacity to monitor ocean carrier behavior and marketplace competitiveness. In its statement announcing the policy changes, the FMC was very open about its hope for better monitoring the seas. 

The three ocean carrier coalitions are already subject to the FMC’s most frequent and rigorous monitoring requirements of any form of agreement on file. However, US President Biden, in February 2022, after noticing a rapid growth in the three alliances, authorized the Justice Department to engage with the Federal Communications Commission to improve carrier inspection and enforcement of existing antitrust rules. 

Last week, the FMC’s newly formed National Shipper Advisory Committee, which includes established exporters and importers, suggested that the FMC expand its monitoring to all portions of the supply chain connected with a contract of carriage.

The FMC sees that one of its primary obligations is regularly checking compliance with agreement authorities and evaluating whether agreements have an anti-competitive impact on the marketplace. The new requirements are the latest move to expand carrier monitoring. They come ahead of the FMC’s possible heightened responsibilities under the forthcoming Ocean Shipping Reform Act, now making its way through Congress.



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