OCEAN Alliance Receives Approval from FMC

Image Courtesy: OOCL

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has concluded its review of the proposed OCEAN Alliance, allowing it to become effective on Monday, October 24, 2016.

The OCEAN Alliance is comprised of French shipping company CMA CGM, China’s COSCO Shipping, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and Taiwanese Evergreen.

Agreement members are now permitted to share vessels, charter and exchange space on each other’s ships, and, enter into cooperative working arrangements in international trade lanes between the United States and ports in Asia, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean.

The announcement follows an exhaustive review process by the Commission that thoroughly examined all aspects of the proposed agreement to assure that competition in the ocean transportation industry would not suffer.

“The Agreement going into force represents a consensus of what will allow OCEAN Alliance carriers to achieve efficiencies without harming the marketplace,” Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero, said.

In late August, the FMC “stopped the clock” on the Ocean Alliance, which was filed on July 15, as it asked for more information before giving its approval for the process.

The proposed alliance is looking to deploy increased ocean carrier services from Asia to the US East and Gulf Coast ports starting from April 2017.

The carriers earlier said that they would transition from their former alliances in or about March 2017 and, subject to regulatory approval, begin full operation by April.

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