The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission said it's "accepting further public comment on the P3 Network Vessel Sharing Agreement" of Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM until midnight Friday, Nov. 29.
On Oct. 24, the three carriers filed their proposed P3 agreement that would authorize them to share vessels and engage in related cooperative operating activities in the trades between Asia, North Europe, the Mediterranean and the United States. Notice of the agreement was published in the Federal Register
on Oct. 30.
The FMC noted if it takes no action to seek an injunction or require additional information, the agreement will become effective 45 days after the original filing date of Oct. 24, or on Dec. 8.
The FMC said comments should address data and information related to the legal standards embodied in Section 6(g) of the 1984 Shipping Act, as amended by the 1998 Ocean Shipping Reform Act, (46 U.S.C. §41307(b)(1))
which states if the FMC "determines that the agreement is
likely, by a reduction in competition, to produce an unreasonable
reduction in transportation service or an unreasonable increase in
transportation cost, the commission, after notice to the person filing
the agreement, may bring a civil action in the United States District
Court for the District of Columbia to enjoin the operation of the
Comments can be mailed to Karen V. Gregory, Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street, N.W, Washington, D.C. 20573, or sent via email to email@example.com
FMC Commissioner William P. Doyle said he was in full support of transparency and for allowing the comment period to remain open on the proposed alliance.
He said the commission’s past practice has been to vote to accept comments filed after the deadline.
"It’s important to allow the shipping public and stakeholders the opportunity to comment on an alliance such as this that comprises the world’s three largest containership carriers," he said. "I would like to hear from stakeholders who are comfortable with the proposed alliance and those that may not be comfortable with the proposed alliance; and if stakeholders believe the P3 filing needs more clarity and/or other assurances, then I would like to hear their ideas in this regard."
Doyle said he participated yesterday in a "productive conversation" with three principals from the P3 Network - Vincent Clerc of Maersk, Diego Aponte of MSC, and Rodolfo Saadé of CMA CGM.
"I am looking forward to reviewing the FMC’s staff analysis on the proposed alliance and following up with additional questions to the P3 principals," he said.