The Federal Maritime Commission announced May
25, 2007 it has voted to allow the Transpacific
Stabilization Agreement (TSA) member carriers to file an amendment to their agreement to once again
include the Indian Subcontinent to TSA’s geographic scope, thus modifying a Settlement Agreement reached with
the Commission in September 2003. This Settlement Agreement, reached after an investigation launched by
the Commission in response to complaints from Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers regarding practices of TSA member
carriers during the 2002-2003 service contract season, removed the Indian Subcontinent from TSA’s geographic
scope. The 2003 Settlement Agreement, aimed at improving competition in the Transpacific trades, changed to
structure of the TSA by eliminating two bridging agreements, as well as requiring carrier members to end certain
practices involving discussion and agreement of rates and negotiation of service contract terms negatively affecting
NVOCCs. Also, as part of the settlement in place of civil penalties, TSA carriers made a payment of $1.35
TSA proposed an Addendum to
this 2003 Settlement Agreement to allow filing of an amendment to expand TSA’s geographic scope to again
include the Indian Subcontinent in April of this year. TSA pointed out that carrier members have fully
complied with the Settlement, and further argued that since 2003 the position of TSA member carriers in Indian trade
have changed substantially. TSA also cited reduced in market share in the region, as well as increases in overall
trade, overtonnaging and new competitive services.
While the Commission voted 3-1 in favor of allowing this Addendum, Commission
Brennan, in voting against the proposal, was thoroughly unconvinced by TSA’s arguments. In his
dissenting opinion, Commissioner Brennan wrote “TSA’s April 25th letter to the Bureau of Trade Analysis
seeks to justify the modification, in part, on ‘wild rate fluctuations.’ Yet, rather than elaborate upon
rate levels that have continually varied in an irregular way…TSA merely states that “many” rates
have fallen by “up to” a third in the past six months as a result of overcapacity. The foreseeable
risks and consequences of ordinary business judgment relating to capacity should not be a reason for the Commission
to relinquish a bargained-for term of its 2003 Settlement with TSA.” Brennan also noted that while
according to statistics provided by the FMC’s Bureau of
Trade Analysis the TSA still holds the majority share of the market.
This amendment to the geographic scope of TSA Agreement No. 011223, will be subject to regular Commission review
and public comment before it may become effective. Interested parties may submit comments to the Federal
Maritime Commission regarding this amendment, once notice of its filing appears in the Federal Register.
The carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223,
serving the East Asia/USA trade lane announced significant increases to Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF) and slight
reductions to Inland Fuel Surcharges (IFC) for July. TSA also made announcements regarding addition of new member,
Zim Integrated Shipping Services, and plans for
two June customer meetings in San Francisco
and New York.
BAF effective July 1, 2007 to July 31, 2007 is as follows: US$ 510 per 20ft container, US$ 635 per 40ft container,
US$ 715 per 40ft hi-cube container, US$ 805 per 45ft container and US$ 15/WM. IFC effective July 1, 2007 to
July 31, 2007 will be reduced to US$ 211 per container per container for mini-land bridge (MLB) and inland point
intermodal shipments moving via rail, and to US$ 61 per container local and regional truck transport to “Group
4” points in California, Oregon and Washington, and for East Coast local store-door truck moves. The
Currency Adjustment Factor for Japan of 0 percent has been extended through September 30, 2007.
TSA Carriers’ also recently amended their tariffs to provide for a Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) of US$ 320 per
20ft container, US$400 per 40ft container, US$450 per 40’ hi-cube container, and $510 per 45’ container
effective from June 15, 2007 through October 15, 2007. The PSS could be extended, possibly through February
Following the retirement of Executive Director Albert A. Pierce at the end of 2006, TSA underwent a
restructuring. It is now led by Ronald D. Widdows, CEO of American President Lines, who will
serve as Executive Committee Chairman for 2007. Deputy executive director Brian M. Conrad remains in charge of
administrative functions for TSA. The group has implemented plans to increase flexibility and
market-responsiveness. Already this year TSA membership has increased, customer meetings are underway and
expansion of the TSA’s geographic scope to include the Indian-Subcontinent is awaiting FMC review. Zim Integrated Shipping Services, based out of Haifa, Israel,
will officially become a TSA member carrier on June 23, 2007, after an FMC required 45-day notice period. Zim
operates a worldwide fleet of 100 vessels, with a combined carrying capacity of about 240,000 TEU. In 2006 Zim
carried over 2 million TEUs; it is currently in the process of building 20 new ships for its worldwide service.
The TSA held its first customer meeting with shippers in Long Beach this past March. Additional customer
meetings are scheduled for June 7 and June 25, in San Francisco and New York respectively. A tentative agenda
for the meetings includes discussion of fuel costs, operating cost issues, service contract cycle and the
The 14 member carriers of TSA are American President Lines, CMA-CMG, COSCO Container Lines Ltd., Evergreen
Marine Corp., Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, “K” Line,
Mediterranean Shipping Co., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, NYK Line, OOCL, Yang Ming Marine, and Zim
Integrated Shipping Services. Visit http://www.tsacarriers.org for additional information.
The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA), whose member lines serve the US export
trades from the USA to East Asia, announced rate adjustment recommendations, increases to July Bunker Adjustment
Factors (BAF) and implementation of an increased Panama Canal Surcharge. WTSA also announced reductions to
July Inland Fuel Surcharges. The Panama Canal Surcharge effective June 1, 2007 will be US$ 212 per container,
and $11.50 per weight ton or $4.50 per cubic meter for cargo rated on a weight or measurement basis. BAF
effective July 1, 2007 to July 31, 2007 will be increased to US$ 508 per 20ft container, US$ 635 per 40ft/45ft
container, and US$ 32 per WM. Inland Fuel Charges for July will be US$ 211 per container for rail and
intermodal rail/truck shipments, and US$ 61 per container for local/regional truck shipments.
WTSA also announced rate increase recommendations for U.S.-Asia shipments of hay, hides and “protein
shipments” of beef, pork and poultry effective July 1, 2007, with increases for agri-products becoming
effective August 1, 2007. Rate details may be found at http://www.wtsacarriers.org The 11 member carriers of WTSA are American
President Lines, China Shipping Container Lines, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine Corp., Hanjin Shipping,
Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, “K” Line, NYK Line, OOCL and Yang
The Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement (TACA), whose member carriers serve the trade between the
USA and North Europe, United Kingdom and Ireland, Scandinavia and Baltic Ports, noting recent above average
increases in fuel prices, announced its first increase to Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF) since November 2006.
For the period of June 16, 2007 to July 15, 2007, BAF will be increased to US$ 494 per 20ft container, US$ 988 per
40ft/45ft container and US$ 49 per WM for shipments to/from Atlantic/Gulf Coast Ports; and US$ 741 per 20ft
container, US$ 1482 per 40ft/45ft container and US$ 74 per WM for shipments to/from Pacific Coast Ports. Current
Currency Adjustment Factors (CAF) of 10 percent will remain unchanged at least until July 17, 2007. TACA
members are Atlantic Container Line, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., NYK Line and
OOCL. For more information visit www.tacaconf.com.
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