FOUR CARRIERS INVITED TO JOIN EUROPE-ASIA RATE GROUP

FOUR CARRIERS INVITED TO JOIN EUROPE-ASIA RATE GROUP

The shipping conference on the Europe-Asia trades has invited four independent carriersto join the group and will start a sub-conference to operate on the Mediterranean-Japan trade as of Jan. 1.

The four carriers invited to join the Far Eastern Freight Conference are Evergreen Marine Corp., Cho Yang Shipping Co., Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement and Yangming Marine Transport Corp.Yang Ming and CMA, traditional independent carriers, have been considering joining the conference since announcing in October that they would join conference carrier Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line) in a vessel-sharing arrangement on the Mediterranean-Asia trade.

Evergreen, another independent on the Europe-Asia trades, said in September that it would join

Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione, also on the Med-Asia trade. That development prompted Lloyd Triestino, an Italian state-owned carrier, to resign from the FEFC because under the conference rules it cannot share vessels with a non-conference carrier. Lloyd Triestino is reconsidering joining the conference.

The vessel-sharing arrangements between traditional conference lines and insurgent independent carriers on the Europe-Asia trades have caused a huge upheaval in the well-established FEFC. The moves to create sub-conferences and invite formerly independent carriers is designed to accommodate the needs of its members to find viable partners on long trade routes.

The Yang Ming-CMA-NYK and Lloyd Triestino-Evergreen vessel-sharing arrangements were created following the break up of the Mafacs, or Med Club VSA, that included NYK, Lloyd Triestino and Mitsui O.S.K.

Mitsui O.S.K. said in October that it would join a group that includes Nedlloyd Lines, Compagnie Generale Maritime and Malaysian International Shipping Co.