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WASHINGTON, D.C.:The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has approved the G6 alliance agreement for services linking Asia and U.S. West Coast ports and between North Europe and all U.S. coastal gateways beginning April 04, 2014.

APL TurquoiseThe G6 is composed of American President Lines, Hapag Lloyd AG/USA, Hyundiai Merchant Marine, Mitsui OSK Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and Orient Overseas Container Line.

The agreement will last until March 01, 2016 and automatically renew for additional one-year terms unless terminated by one or more of the members 12 months after March 01 2015.

Initially, the six companies are allowed to coordinate and share space on 58 container vessels with a maximum capacity of 10,000 TEUs, rising to 220 ships with a maximum capacity of 14,000 TEUs.

The FMC said its decision was based on a determination that the agreement is not likely to lead to a reduction in competition or produce and "unreasonable" increase in costs to the shipper.

FMC chairman Mario Cordero commented: "The commission's action on the G6 alliance is based on an extensive, competitive analysis conducted by the commission's staff and comments received by shippers and other industry participants. The commission will continue to review the competitive impact of global alliances. This alliance will considerably increase available capacity in the expanded geographic scope, and has the potential to generate operational efficiencies and positive environmental benefits."

The countries included in the agreement are: Belgium, Canada,
Egypt, France,
Hong Kong,
Japan, Korea, 
People's Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,
South Korea,
Sri Lanka,
UAE, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

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