The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has requested additional information from the members of the G6 Alliance on their plan to extend their cooperation to all major east-west trades, including those between Asia and the U.S. West Coast, and between Europe and the U.S. East Coast.
FMC Commissioner William Doyle said the additional information is intended to protect consumer interests, U.S.-flag international fleet, small businesses, suppliers, and third parties such as terminals, vendors and bunker operators.
The request has stopped the 45-day regulatory waiting period, and ushers a new 45-day period after the G6 members submit responses to the FMC.
On December 2, 2013, the G6 parties filed an amendment with the commission to extend their cooperation. Currently, their agreement authorizes the members to share vessel space with each other and enter into cooperative working arrangements in Asia-U.S. East Coast trade.
“Their amendment would extend their authorization to encompass the major east-west trades, including that between Asia and the U.S. West Coast, and between Northern Europe/Mediterranean and all U.S. coasts,” an FMC official release said.
For its new global network, the proposed G6 amendment anticipates 180 to 220 vessels with a maximum capacity of 14,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs).
On the other hand, the recently filed P3 network vessel sharing agreement (VSA) proposes an initial deployment across all U.S. trades with an annual capacity of 130 vessels that range between 4,000 TEUs and 12,250 TEUs. The P3 VSA proposes to eventually expand to a maximum of 180 vessels of up to 19,200 TEUs.
Agreements filed with the commission become effective after 45 days, but the FMC may request additional information and documents from the filing parties to complete the required statutory review. Upon receipt of complete and adequate responses to the request for additional information, a new 45-day period begins.
“I have reviewed the proposed G6 Amendment and agree with the questions proposed by the Commission,” stated Doyle. “I trust that the G6 parties will thoroughly address all the questions posed in the Commission’s request for additional information.”
Commissioner Richard Lidinsky Jr. added: “It is imperative the Commission fully understands the implications of what has been proposed. Of particular concern is how the proposed Service Centers will operate autonomously of the parties to the Agreement, and how the five members of the Alliance belonging to the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) will act independently from the one lone independent carrier in setting rates for certain routes covered by the Agreement.”
The G6 Alliance consists of APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine Company, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and Orient Overseas Container Line.