Friday, October 10, 2014
Maersk-MSC vessel-sharing agreement secures FMC approval
This week the Federal Maritime Commission approved the proposed Maersk-MSC vessel-sharing agreement known as 2M.
The Maersk-MSC agreement will share vessels and engage in related cooperative operating activities in the trades between the U.S. and Asia, North Europe, and the Mediterranean.
The FMC decision, from which Commissioner Lidinsky dissented, will allow the 2M alliance to become effective October 11, 2014.
The commission said its investigation found that 2M is unlikely to result in an unreasonable increase in costs or a reduction in service under section 6(g) of the Shipping Act. Its action imposes reporting requirements on Maersk and MSC as the agency monitors the agreement.
"The commission’s action on the 2M Agreement is based on the comprehensive, competitive analysis conducted by the FMC staff," said Chairman Cordero, "and takes into account responses from the agreement parties to staff and commissioner questions raised during the 45-day review period, as well as comments received from the European Shippers Council, the only public comment received on the proposed Agreement."
"I am confident that the reporting requirements will ensure that the Commission will have timely and relevant information to monitor activity under the agreement, and will enable the FMC to act quickly should it be necessary."
Under the agreement, Maersk Line and MSC will use 185 ships on European, trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific services. Maersk Line has said that 2M will save it $350 million annually.
The alliance still needs to pass muster with regulators in China and Europe.
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