The Brussels-based organization that lobbied the European Union on behalf of liner shipping companies ceased those efforts last month but is staying open as a trade association.
As of July 1, the European Liner Affairs Association closed its Brussels office and transferred its lobbying responsibilities to the World Shipping Council in Washington.
The ELAA is keeping an oar in the water as an association collecting information on liner shipping for use by its carrier members and others in the global supply chain. The ELAA maintains a database collected by its subsidiary, Container Trade Statistics, set up to provide data to ELAA members on European container trade lanes when carriers could participate in liner conferences and discuss capacity and rates under antitrust immunity.
CTS is being turned into a full-fledged information service collecting and analyzing aggregated data on carrier capacity and freight rates on all global container trade lanes.
The ELAA’s carrier members will meet once more in Seattle on Sept. 14 to establish a new structure to handle the CTS database. Roderick Riseborough, former CEO of the Far East Freight Conference, will head the CTS.
The EU abolished the ocean carriers’ exemption from antitrust enforcement in October 2008. Under the EU’s Maritime Transport Guidelines, carriers may collect data on carrier volumes and freight rates as long as the information is aggregated and cannot be identified as that of any individual carrier. The data is available to the non-carrier public on a fee basis.
ELAA Executive Director Chris Bourne, who led the carrier lobbying efforts in Brussels for the last five years, is leaving the ELAA and taking a new position as chairman of the new Joint Strategic Board of the Lighthouse Authorities for the U.K. and Ireland. The board coordinates the activities of the three lighthouse authorities that maintain the navigational aids around the British Isles and Gibraltar: the Northern Lighthouse Board, which covers Scotland and the Isle of Man; the Irish Lights Authority, which covers Ireland and Northern Ireland; and Trinity House, which covers England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.
“They will stay separate organizations, but I am heading a board that will try to make them work together,” Bourne said.
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