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Signals™ Headlines - May 5, 2010

FMC Issues Proposed Rulemaking to Change NVOCC Tariff Regulations

The Federal Maritime Commission
  has released for comment a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, when final, will offer licensed
Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) the option to utilize negotiated rate arrangements
(NRAs) instead of publishing freight rates in their tariffs.  Comments on this proposed rule are
due by June 4, 2010.  If an interested party requests an opportunity to present oral comments to
the Commission by May 14, 2010, the Commission will also hold a public meeting to receive those
comments on May 24, 2010.  The Commission will announce the time and details of the meeting on
its website prior to the meeting date.

proposed rule, when final, will establish an instrument called a “negotiated rate
arrangement” (NRA).  This is defined as “a written and binding arrangement between a
shipper and an eligible NVOCC to provide specific transportation service for a stated cargo
quantity, from origin to destination.”
  Licensed NVOCCs who enter into NRAs with their
customers will be exempted from the requirement of publishing their rates in tariffs for
shipments moving under these NRAs, so long as they satisfy several conditions, including:

  1. NVOCCs would continue to publish rules tariffs containing terms and conditions governing
    shipments, including surcharges and fees applicable in addition to freight rates.
  2. NVOCCs would be required to provide their rules tariffs to the shipping public free of
  3. Rates applicable on shipments moving under NRAs must be agreed to by Shippers in writing by
    the date cargo is received for shipment and may not be changed after receipt of cargo ; and
  4. NVOCCs must retain documentation of the agreed rate and terms for each shipment for a period
    of five years, and must make that documentation available promptly to the Commission on

The option
to utilize negotiated rate arrangements (NRAs) will be voluntary.  NVOCCs may choose to continue
publishing rates in their tariffs for some or all cargo shipments.  Tariff rates do not require
shippers to sign a written and binding agreement prior to cargo movement, and tariffs may be
updated by NVOCCs at any time, subject to FMC regulations governing effective dates.  NVOCCs
will also continue to have the option to utilize NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs) with their
shipper customers; NSAs are contracts which apply for fixed time periods for a minimum quantity
of cargo and may incorporate other unique contract terms.

exemption would only apply to NVOCCs holding the Ocean Transportation Intermediary (OTI)
license.  This means the proposed rulemaking excludes more than 1100 NVOCCs operating outside
the USA who do not hold the Ocean Transportation Intermediary (OTI) license.  These unlicensed
NVOCCs are fully authorized by the Commission to issue their bills of lading for shipments
to/from the USA and may enter into service contracts with ocean carriers.  They are not required
to hold the OTI license because they do not have offices or staff in the USA.  These NVOCCs do
have the option to obtain OTI licensing, however, very few have done so.  The proposed
rulemaking would create an incentive for these NVOCCs to obtain this license.  

While this
rule making is pending NVOCCs must continue to comply with the Commission’s current tariff regulations.  Changes to the NVOCC tariff publication
requirements will occur only after the Commission considers public comments on this proposed
rule making, and publishes a Final Rule and sets its effective date.

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TSA Carriers File General Rate Increases (GRIs) Effective May 1, 2010

The carrier
members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), FMC Agreement No.
011223, serving the East Asia/USA trade lane have implemented a GRI effective May 1, 2010;
details are as follows.

GENERAL RATE INCREASE (GRI) in US Dollars ($), effective: 01May2010
From: Asia Origin Ports
To:   USA Destination Ports and Points as noted

USWC/Group 46408009001013

In this
table, USWC means US West Coast Ports; Group 4 US Inland Points are cities in California,
Oregon, and Washington defined in tariff rules.  IPI/MLB means Inland Point Intermodal and
MiniLandBridge.  USAG/RIPI means all water service to US Atlantic & Gulf Ports; RIPI means
Reverse IPI Service to US Inland Points via USAG.

Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF) calculated using TSA’s old monthly formula will
increase effective June 1, 2010 to: 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).  The “New Formula
for the April-June 2010 quarter is US$ 368 per 40ft ctr to US Pacific Coast
Ports and US$ 727 per 40ft ctr to US Atlantic and Gulf ports, with other container sizes charged
accordingly.  Inland Fuel Charges (IFC) for the April-June quarter are US$ 211
per ctr for shipments to IPI destinations served via West Coast Ports, US$ 106 per ctr for
shipments to RIPI destinations served via East Coast Ports, and US$ 61 per ctr for shipments to
Group 4 Points and to East Coast local store door points.

Emergency Revenue Charge (ERC) implemented by most of the TSA Carrier members
in January remains in effect.  TSA Carriers have said the ERC will expire upon execution of new
contracts in 2010.  However, their tariffs reflect otherwise; some have filed rules
increasing ERC amounts effective May 1st to the same levels as the GRI.  In their 2010 Revenue Recovery
the TSA Carriers noted a Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) of US$ 400 per
FEU to be effective from August thru November 2010 and some of the Carriers have already filed
this in their FMC tariffs.

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

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US Australasia Discussion Agreement Carriers Announce GRI, Reduce Fuel Surcharge

United States Australasia Discussion Agreement (USADA)
, FMC Agreement No. 011117,
whose member lines provide direct service between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand,
announced plans to implement a general rate increase (GRI).  Effective June 1, 2010, a GRI of
US$ 150 per 20ft container and US$ 300 per 40ft container will take effect for shipments in dry
and refrigerated containers from the USA to Australia and New Zealand..  USADA’s Emergency Fuel
Adjustment Factor (EFAF) will be reduced effective June 15, 2010 from US$ 716 to 712 per 20ft
container and from US$ 1432 to 1424 per 40ft/40ft hi-cube/45ft container.

USADA is a
voluntary discussion and research forum of six container shipping lines serving the trade to and
from ports and inland points in the U.S. to destinations throughout Australia and New Zealand. 
The USADA’s six member carriers are CMA CGM, Hamburg Sud, Hapag-Lloyd, Marfret, Maersk
and ANL Singapore d/b/a U.S. Lines.

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