The Federal Maritime Commission filed a notice in the Federal Register
inviting comments over the next 12 days from the public on the proposal by the six carriers of the G6 alliance to expand their geographic scope to include the transpacific trade to the U.S. West Coast and the transatlantic trade to all coasts of the U.S.
The G6 carriers — APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, MOL, NYK, and OOCL — filed their agreement on Dec. 2, and it is slated to go into effect Jan. 16 unless the FMC delays that date by asking for additional information. The carriers say they actually want to begin operating ships in the new trade lanes in the second quarter of 2014. The expansion is being widely seen as a response by the three largest container carriers — Maersk, MSC, and CMA CGM — to form a new alliance called the P3 Network.
The most recent revision of the agreement, 012194, can be viewed at the FMC website.
In Article 5.1(j) of the new agreement, the G6 carriers say they may establish and maintain one or more G6 Service Centers, which they say would "maximize the efficiency" of the services they operate by performing day-to-day management, administrative and/or service coordination such as "forecasting, communicating with providers or suppliers of vessel-related goods and services, monitoring bunker consumption of the vessels operated..., terminal operations, equipment and intermodal activities, cargo acceptance policy, hazardous cargo procedures, and stowage planning."
Plans by the P3 Network to establish a Network Center in London is one of the concerns that some shipper groups have asked the FMC to examine closely. The National Industrial Transportation League said the creation of the Network Center "to coordinate
and manage a large range of operational aspects of the P3 Agreement is
It's not immediately clear how the planned P3 Network Center and G6 Service centers compare.
An NYK spokesman said that "the G6 does not currently operate a service center" and that it was premature to comment on whether the proposed G6 service center or centers would be similar to the network center the P3 is planning to establish in London.