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FMC Commissioner Doyle concerned over Ocean Alliance joint purchasing proposals

FMC Commissioner Doyle concerned over Ocean Alliance joint purchasing proposals
US Federal Maritime Commissioner (FMC) William Doyle is concerned over proposed joint purchasing agreements by the planned Ocean Alliance.

Commissioner Doyle voted in favour of a Request for Additional Information in filings by the proposed alliance of Cosco Container Lines, CMA CGM (including APL) Evergreen Marine and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL). The RFAI has effectively stopped the clock on the filing which will resume with a 45-day period once additional questions have been answered.

FMC Commissioner Doyle is particularly concerned over proposals for joint purchasing by the alliance for services such as stevedoring.

“We’ve been down this road before with language proposed but not implemented by the P3 Alliance and the language in the existing 2M Alliance (Maersk and MSC),” he said in a statement.

“I’d like to see fair dealing and transparency in how the parties handle negotiations with third parties, suppliers, small businesses, and other service providers. Using their proposed buying power through proposed joint purchasing agreements could harm both downstream and upstream participants."

The 2M agreement has safeguards that the member lines must negotiate separately for services and have individual contracts.

"There is plenty of time for the Ocean Alliance parties to review and digest the questions posed by the Commission. I encourage Ocean Alliance representatives to work with FMC staff in answering the RFAI,” Doyle said.

The Ocean Alliance is scheduled to start operations in April 2017.