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June01, 2015

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60 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE TOP 100 IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS 2015 JUNE 1.2015 Regulators are struggling to get a handle on the rapid change. FMC Commissioner Richard Lidinsky warned in a recent speech that some alliances appear to be "positioning themselves to exercise authorities beyond the reach of governments." Port congestion has raised another dimension to the impact of carrier alliances. Shippers, ports and others say alliances and their increasingly large ships have over- whelmed capacity at marine terminals. The FMC in April issued a report on con- gestion-related charges at congested ports, and urged cargo interests and others who believe they have been unfairly charged demurrage and per-diem detention fees to provide the commission with evidence (Story, page 14). The World Shipping Council, which represents container lines with more than 90 percent of global capacity, pushed back against that claim in May. WSC President Christopher Koch said port congestion has multiple causes, and can't be blamed on alli- ances and large ships. Separately from the port congestion issue, the European Commission has been investigating whether carriers violated competition law by signaling rate-increase plans to each other. The investigation stems from the 2002 raids on European offices of several carriers. The current status of that investigation is unclear. JOC Contact Joseph Bonney at and follow him on Twitter: @JosephBonney. By Joseph Bonney MARITI M E REGU L ATORS FROM the U.S., China and Europe will meet on June 18 in Brussels to discuss market and regula- tory issues, including the effect g lo ba l c ont a i ne r sh ippi n g alliances are having on compe- tition and ports. The Europea n Com m is- sion's competition directorate will host t he second Globa l Regulatory Summit, a follow- up meet i ng to one held i n December 2013 in Washington. Representatives of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission, the Chinese Ministry of Transport and the European Commission will attend the Brussels event. The summit will "discuss current mar- ket and regulatory developments in the maritime transport sector. In particular, discussions are expected on the global trend toward increased cooperation and market consolidation in liner shipping as well as on regulatory and policy issues related to ports," the European Commission said. When the 2013 summit was held, regu- lators were considering whether to approve the proposed P3 Alliance among the three world's largest con- tainer lines — Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM. Europe and U.S. authorities approved the P3, but Chinese authorities rejected the deal. Maersk and MSC then formed the 2M Alliance, and CMA CGM joined China Ship- ping and United Arab Shipping Co. in the Ocean Three. Those mega-alliances set off a round of new groupings by other carriers. Sixteen of the 20 largest carriers in major east-west trades now are in the 2M, Ocean Three, G6 or CKYHE alliances. Alliances and vessel-sharing agreements allow carriers to pool capacity and reduce vessel costs while serving a broader range of ports. "We have a strategic location that offers good access to European and international markets." Alliances in the Spotlight U.S., European and Chinese regulators will assess shipping developments in June regulatory summit

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