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Signals™ Headlines - June 3, 2010

FMC Hears Comments on Proposed Changes to NVOCC Tariff Regulations

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) heard comments on its Docket 10-03, NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRA) on May 24, 2010. The proposed NRAs will give licensed Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) the option of utilizing negotiated rate arrangements (NRAs) instead of publishing freight rates in their tariffs. Licensed NVOCCs will still be required to publish rules in their FMC tariffs, as well as provide public access to their tariffs. Unlicensed NVOCCs will be required to continue publishing rates and rules in their tariffs. The FMC issued this proposed rulemaking on April 29, 2010 in response to a 2008 petition filed by the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) that sought a permanent exemption from tariff rate filing for all NVOCCs.

The hearing was attended by shippers, attorneys, tariff publishers, software developers, and FMC staff. A panelist of nine members from various areas of the shipping industry spoke to the Commission regarding the proposed NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangement (NRA). NCBFAA Attorney Ed Greenberg praised the FMC’s decision and asked that the NRA option be extended to non-licensed NVOCCs. Tariff publishers, including Distribution-Publications, Inc., sought clarification on the new NRA option and asked the FMC to issue detailed guidelines to help shippers comply with NRA requirements. The Commission is expected to issue a Final Rulemaking regarding NVOCC Negotiated Rate Arrangements within the next few months.

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World Chance Logistics: $110,000 Settlement Approved by FMC

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) recently approved an $110,000 settlement agreement with Hong Kong-based NVOCC World Chance Logistics (Hong Kong), Ltd. This settlement agreement concludes an FMC investigation into alleged Shipping Act violations committed by World Chance. According to FMC Docket No. 09-07, the Commission had obtained evidence that World Chance and its sole share-holder, Johnny Yu, may have permitted unrelated shippers of pyrotechnics to have direct access to the rates in World Chance service contracts. The FMC also investigated allegations that World Chance and Yu had provided rates and charges to pyrotechnics shippers that were not in accordance with the rates and charges contained in World Chance’s tariff. In settlement of these allegations World Chance admitted to no wrongdoing. Pursuant to the agreement World Chance will be allowed to continue operating as an NVOCC provided it complies with all FMC tariff filing and bonding requirements.

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Maersk, NYK, MSC, and OOCL Announce July 1st Trans-Atlantic Rate Hikes

Citing continuing unsatisfactory rate levels in the trans-Atlantic trade, many carriers will implement General Rate Increases (GRI) on July 1, 2010 ranging from US$ 250 to US$ 500. Maersk Line will implement a GRI of US$ 400 per 20ft ctr and US$ 500 per 40ft ctr. This GRI applies to both dry and reefer cargo moving in both directions between North America and Europe, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Maersk Line is also planning another GRI for October 2010.

NYK Line plans to increase freight rates on trans-Atlantic cargo moving to and from the US as of July 1, 2010. NYK will increase rates by US$ 300 per 20ft ctr, and US$ 500 per 40ft ctr. This GRI applies on all dry and reefer containers moving to and from the US and Northern Europe. OOCL also announced a GRI for all westbound containers from Europe to the USA of US$ 400 per 20ft ctr and US$ 500 per 40ft ctr and a GRI on all eastbound containers to Europe from the USA of US$ 320 per 20ft ctr and US$ 400 per 40ft ctr. Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) also plans to increase rates as of July 1 on eastbound cargo from the US to ports in the western Mediterranean. MSC will implement a GRI of US$ 250 per 20ft ctr and US$ 350 per 40ft ctr.

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TSA Carriers Amend PSS, Increase Inland Fuel Charges, Leave BAF Unchanged

The carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223, serving the East Asia/U.S.A trade lane announced they will increase inland fuel charges, but leave bunker and currency surcharges unchanged for the July -September 2010 quarter. A Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) will become effective on 15Jun2010.

Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF) calculated using TSA’s old monthly formula will remain unchanged for the month of July at US$ 724 per 20ft ctr, US$ 905 per 40ft ctr, US$ 1018 per 40ft hi-cube ctr, US$ 1146 per 45ft ctr, and US$ 20 per WM (LCL). TSA’s quarterly “New Formula BAF” for July-September 2010 will also remain unchanged at US$ 368 per 40ft ctr to U.S. Pacific Coast Ports and US$ 727 per 40ft ctr to U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ports; BAF for other container sizes is calculated according to a standard formula. TSA’s Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF) will also remain unchanged at 16 percent on shipments from Japan for the period of July thru September 2010.

Inland Fuel Charges (IFC) for the July thru September 2010 quarter will increase to US$ 243 per ctr for shipments to IPI destinations served via West Coast Ports, US$ 122 per ctr for shipments to RIPI destinations served via East Coast Ports, and US$ 70 per ctr for shipments to Group 4 Points in California, Oregon and Washington and to East Coast local store door points. In their 2010 Revenue Recovery Plan the TSA Carriers also noted a Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) of US$ 400 per FEU to be effective August thru November 2010 to address higher cargo handling and equipment positioning costs during the peak season. However, most of the TSA Carriers have recently amended their tariffs to advance the effective date of this Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) to June 15, 2010.

The TSA’s 15 carrier members are American President Lines, CSCL, CMA-CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai, Merchant Marine, “K” Line, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping, NYK Line, OOCL, Yang Ming Marine and Zim Integrated Shipping Services. Visit www.tsacarriers.org

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WTSA Carriers Increase IFC, Add Singapore and Haiphong Charges, Maintain BAF

The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA), FMC Agreement No. 011325, whose member lines serve the US export trades from the USA to East Asia, announced increased inland fuel surcharges for the period of July thru September 2010. Bunker surcharges for the same period will remain at current levels.

WTSA Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF), effective: July 1, 2010 – September 30, 2010
Traffic to/from and via:

US Atlantic/Gulf Coast Ports
US Pacific Coast Ports
US$ 834 per 20ft dry ctr
US$ 420 per 20ft dry ctr
US$ 1042 per 40ft/45ft dry ctr
US$ 525 per 40ft/45ft dry ctr
US$ 1387 per 40ft/45ft reefer ctr
US$ 739 per 40ft/45ft reefer ctr

The Inland Fuel Charge (IFC) for July-September 2010 will increase to US$ 243 per ctr for rail and intermodal rail/truck shipments, and US$ 70 per ctr for local/regional truck shipments. Currency Adjustment Factors (CAF) for the same period will remain at 5 percent for Taiwan and 17 percent for Singapore. Beginning July 1, 2010, WTSA will assess a Singapore Documentation Fee of US$ 70 per bill of lading. A new Haiphong Reefer Congestion Charge of US$ 500 per 40ft ctr with proportionate charges for other equipment sizes will also take effect July 1, 2010. The WTSA’s 10 member carriers are American President Lines, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine Corp., Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, “K” Line, NYK Line, OOCL and Yang Ming Marine. For more info visit www.wtsacarriers.org

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