|February 4, 2009
Volume 13, Number 2
SIGNALS provides detailed information on the regulations and activities of the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and related developments in the ocean freight industry. For past issues, please consult our index.
|LA and Long Beach Will Start Collecting Clean Trucks Fees February 18, 2009|
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced they will begin collecting the $35 per TEU Clean Trucks Fee (CTF) February 18, 2009. The CTF is expected to raise about $1 million a day. These funds will help finance the ports’ Clean Truck Programs, which aim to improve air quality at the ports’ by banning all pre-2007 trucks from the ports by 2012. The CTF was originally slated to begin along with the programs October 1, 2008 ban on pre-1989 trucks, but was postponed twice due to challenges from the Federal Maritime Commission. The FMC is still reviewing an agreement between the ports and marine terminal operators that is essential to the programs. However, after receiving news in December 2008 that California state grant monies allotted for the programs will not be forthcoming, port officials have decided they must begin collecting the CTF.
“It’s imperative that we start the program and continue the progress we have made to date in terms of banning pre-1989 trucks and accelerating the deployment of more than 2,200 2007-compliant trucks through our 2007-Compliant Incentive Program,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz. This incentive program offered trucking companies $20,000 for each 2007 U.S. EPA-compliant truck they registered with the port prior to the Clean Truck Program start date of October 1, 2008. These trucks are also exempt from paying the CTF. The Port of Los Angeles, also offers an on-going financial assistance program to help truckers purchase compliant trucks. Unlike the Port of Los Angles, the Port of Long Beach did not offer an incentive program, but does offer a financial assistance program to help truckers purchase 2007 U.S. EPA-compliant trucks. This program will be funded by the Clean Trucks Fee. “With the current credit crisis, it will be impossible for most truckers to replace all their trucks without our financial assistance program," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke.
In November 2008, the ports filed the Port Fee Services Agreement, FMC Agreement No. 201199, with the Federal Maritime Commission. This agreement would allow collection of the Clean Trucks Fee to begin. However, the FMC is delaying the effectiveness of the agreement. The FMC is also challenging “anti-competitive” portions the ports’ Clean Truck Programs in court. A ruling in this case is not expected until later this year.
Under the Clean Truck Programs, the cargo owner is responsible for paying the CTF. However, non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) that plan to charge shippers for the CTF must file rules in their FMC tariffs to authorize this. Many NVOCCs have recently updated their tariffs to provide rules imposing fees for less than container load (LCL) cargo ranging from $2 to $5 per freight ton and CTF handling fees of about $10 per container.
|FMC Denies Requests for Expedited Review, Demands More Information|
The Federal Maritime Commission denied two requests for expedited agreement review at its January 14, 2009 meeting. The commission voted 2-1 to deny a request for expedited review to the Port Fee Services Agreement, FMC Agreement No. 201199, filed by the Ports’ of Los Angeles, Long Beach and marine terminal operators operating at the ports. This agreement would allow marine terminal operators and the ports to begin working cooperatively on their Clean Air Action Plan and implement collection of the Clean Trucks Fee. This is the second time the Commission has refused to expedite the review of this agreement. This review period for this agreement ends February 13, 2009.
The Commission also voted unanimously to deny a request for expedited review of an amendment to the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223. The FMC also requested further information from the TSA carriers. This will further delay the effectiveness of the amendment until 45 days after the requested information and documents are submitted. On December 18, 2008 the TSA, whose member lines serve the East Asia/USA trade lane, filed an agreement amendment with the FMC that will authorize members to discuss and agree upon vessel capacity.
|TSA Carriers Increase Bunker Adjustment Factors, Reduce Inland Fuel Charges|
The carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223, serving the East Asia/USA trade lane announced increases to Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF) and reductions to Inland Fuel Charges (IFC) for March 2009. BAF for March will be increased to US$ 328 per 20ft container, US$ 410 per 40ft container, US$ 461 per 40ft hi-cube container, US$ 519 per 45ft container and US$ 9 per WM.
Inland Fuel Charges (IFC) effective March 1, 2009 will be reduced as follows: US$ 148 per container for shipments to IPI destinations served via West Coast Ports, US$ 74 per container for shipments to RIPI destinations served via East Coast Ports, and US$ 43 per container for shipments to Group 4 Points in California, Oregon and Washington and to East Coast local store door points.
The TSA Carriers continue to update BAF and IFC on a monthly basis. TSA’s 14 carrier members are American President Lines, CSCL, CMA-CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, "K" Line, Mediterranean Shipping, NYK Line, OOCL, Yang Ming Marine and Zim Integrated Shipping Services. Visit http://www.tsacarriers.org.
|Federal Maritime Commission Receives Numerous Agreement Filings in January|
The Federal Maritime Commission announced the filing of numerous new and amended agreements in January. Many filings were amendments made to existing vessel sharing/charting agreements.
Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Yang Ming filed an amendment to their MSC/YML Space Charter Agreement to reduce the amount of space Mediterranean Shipping charters to Yang Ming in the trade between U.S. Atlantic Coast ports and ports in Italy and Spain.
A.P. Moller-Maersk and CMA CGM filed an amendment to Agreement No. 012055. This agreement allows them to “solicit bids for joint contracts for marine terminal facilities and/or services and to negotiate and enter into such contracts.” This amendment expands the agreement’s scope, which was limited to trade between Asia and the U.S., to include ports in the Mediterranean. CMA CGM and A.P. Moller-Maersk also filed a new agreement with the Commission, Agreement No. 012061, which will authorize the two parties to share vessel space in the trade between U.S. East Coast ports and ports in the Western Mediterranean.
CMA CGM and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. filed an amendment to their MOL / CMA CGM Slot Charter Agreement, which authorizes MOL to charter slots to CMA CGM in the trades between Los Angeles and Japan. This amendment will add Seattle and Tacoma to the geographic scope of the agreement.
The parties of The Maritime Credit Agreement, Agreement No. 011961, filed an amendment to add NYK Line to their member list, and requested expedited review by the FMC for this amendment. The Maritime Credit Agreement authorizes members to “discuss and exchange information with respect to their respective billing and/or collection practices including, but not limited to: credit experiences of particular accounts which are or may be of interest to some or all of the Members; credit collection, and billing procedures; non-confidential charges published in Members’ tariffs and/or otherwise available to the public; and systems of the Members.” The 19 members of the Maritime Credit Agreement are Alianca Navegacao e Logistica Ltda. & Cia, A.P. Moller-Maersk, China Shipping Container Lines Co., Ltd., CMA CGM, Companhia Libra de Navegacao, Compania Libra de Navegacion Uruguay, Compania Sudamericana de Vapores, COSCO Container Lines, Dole Ocean Cargo Express, Hamburg-SUD, Hoegh Autoliners, Independent Container Line, “K” Line, Norasia Container Lines Limited, Safmarine Container Lines, Tropical Shipping, United Arab Shipping Company, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Zim Integrated Shipping Services.
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Vol. 13 No. 2, February 4, 2009