FMC Tightens Oversight of Trans-Pacific Carriers

FMC Tightens Oversight of Trans-Pacific Carriers

The Federal Maritime Commission is stepping up its oversight of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement and the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement by ordering verbatim records of their meetings.

Normally discussion agreements provide the commission with meeting minutes, but the FMC last week ordered that agreements provide a transcript, audio or video record of their meetings to see if members are “improperly discussing capacity,” or otherwise acting in a manner to reduce competition or increase transportation costs.

By The Numbers: Container Rate Benchmark.

The order is a product of an FMC investigation underway since March. Commissioner Rebecca Dye was named fact-finding officer following shippers’ claims that carriers were deliberately withholding vessel capacity and equipment to drive up rates for export cargo. Carriers argued they were adjusting capacity to market conditions.

The FMC’s order applies to meetings that TSA or WTSA hold after Sept. 13, and remains in effect for a year.

-- Contact R.G. Edmonson at bedmonson@joc.com.