Volume 24, Number 1
January 6, 2020
Oakland, California
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.
Signals™ Headlines - January 6, 2020

Revised OTI Licensing Rules Now in Effect

Due to a recent change in licensing regulations by the Federal Maritime Commission non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) will now need to have a USD 75,000 surety bond and Form FMC-1 (published tariff location) on file before the Federal Maritime Commission will issue a new license. This is one of several changes to Commission contained in a Final Rule, Licensing, Registration, Financial Responsibility Requirements, and General Duties for Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (FMC Docket No. 18-11) that took effect December 16, 2019. Other key changes to FMC’s licensing regulations for ocean forwarders and NVOCCs in the USA are:

  • Applicants employing officers, managers, or members from an OTI whose license was revoked or denied within the previous three years are subject to review by the FMC Commissioners.
  • Applicants previously determined to be unqualified to provide OTI services are also subject to Commissioner review.
  • Clarification on eligibility to be a Qualified Individual (QI) when partnerships are involved.
  • The initial renewal of an OTI license can take place no sooner than one-year and no later than four-years from issuance. All subsequent renewals will take place on regular three-year intervals.
  • All application forms are now filed online via the Form FMC-18 process. The option to apply using a paper form has been eliminated.

None of these changes impact NVOCCs outside the USA who continue to have the option to register with the Commission and provide NVOCC service from their offices outside the USA. The NVOCC registration option requires a USD 150,000 surety bond and tariff; it does not require the OTI license, however, it does require the registered NVOCC to certify it will use only FMC licensed companies to act as handling agents in the USA. Over 1,700 NVOCCs outside the USA are registered with FMC in this manner and do not hold OTI licenses.

Senior Staff Transitions at FMC

Two of FMC’s most senior managers have recently departed. Ms. Sandra Kusumoto, long time Director of FMC’s Bureau of Certification and Licensing retired December 31, 2019 after 36 years of service to the Commission. Clifford Johnson has been appointed Acting Director. Mr. Johnson joined the FMC in 2015. Mr. Tyler J. Wood departed his post as FMC General Counsel on January 3, 2020, taking up a new position with the Department of Justice (DOJ). William H. Shakely has been appointed to serve as Acting General Counsel. Mr. Shakely joined in FMC in 2014.

“Ms. Kusumoto has served the Commission and the Nation with distinction. The impact of her work will long be recognized and lauded. We are grateful for her service,” said FMC Chairman Michael Khouri. “We wish Mr. Wood the very best in his new assignment with DOJ and thank him for his ten years of service in the Office of General Counsel and especially for his leadership as our agency’s General Counsel.”

Transpacific Eastbound Carriers File GRIs Effective January 15 and February 1, 2020

Several leading carriers serving the Trans Pacific container trades have recently updated their respective tariffs to include new General Rate Increases (GRIs) effective January 15, 2020, including American President Lines (APL), CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant, Ocean Network Express (ONE), and Yang Ming. See table below for GRI amounts per 40ft container; GRI amounts for all other container sizes are as per formula. The January 15th GRIs will be the second GRI of 2020 for the East Asia/USA trade lane.

TRANSPACIFIC EASTBOUND (Asia to USA)
GENERAL RATE INCREASE (GRI)
Effective January 15, 2020
Carrier
in USD, per 40ft ctr
APL
1000
CMA CGM
1000
COSCO (see note 1)
800
Evergreen
1000
Hapag Lloyd
700
Hyundai
1000
ONE
1000
Yang Ming
1000

NOTE 1: COSCO GRIs apply on all cargo moving under service contracts only.

Some carriers updated their tariffs to include new General Rate Increases (GRIs) effective February 1, 2020, including American President Lines (APL), CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant, Ocean Network Express (ONE), and Yang Ming. See table below for GRI amounts per 40ft container; GRI amounts for all other container sizes are as per formula. The February 1st GRIs will be the third GRI of 2020 for the East Asia/USA trade lane.

TRANSPACIFIC EASTBOUND (Asia to USA)
GENERAL RATE INCREASE (GRI)
Effective February 1, 2020
Carrier
in USD, per 40ft ctr
APL
1000
CMA CGM
1000
COSCO (see note 1)
800
Evergreen
1000
Hapag Lloyd
700
Hyundai
1000
ONE
1000
Yang Ming
1000

NOTE 1: COSCO GRIs apply on all cargo moving under service contracts only.

Transpacific Eastbound Carriers Update Alameda Corridor Charge Effective January 2020

Some of the carriers serving the Transpacific Eastbound trade lane (U.S. Imports) have recently updated their respective FMC tariffs to increase the Alameda Corridor Charges (ACC). The table below provides a summary of these charges. The ACC applies on shipments that move via rail though the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

TRANSPACIFIC EASTBOUND (Asia to USA)
ALAMEDA CORRIDOR CHARGE (ACC)
in USD, per ctr
Carrier
20ft
40ft / HC
45ft
APL
30
60
65
CMA CGM
30
60
65
COSCO
27
53
60
Evergreen
28
56
62
HMM
28
56
62
OOCL
25
56
50
ONE
27
56
60
Yang Ming
28
56
62

Transpacific Westbound Carriers Update Alameda Corridor Charge Effective January 2020

Some of the carriers serving the Transpacific Westbound trade lane (U.S. Exports) have recently updated their respective FMC tariffs to increase the Alameda Corridor Charges (ACC). The table below provides a summary of these charges. The ACC applies on shipments that move via rail though the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

TRANSPACIFIC WESTBOUND (USA to Asia)
ALAMEDA CORRIDOR CHARGE (ACC)
in USD, per ctr
Carrier
20ft
40ft / HC
45ft
APL
30
60
65
CMA CGM
30
60
65
COSCO
27
53
60
Evergreen
28
56
62
HMM
25
50
55
OOCL
23
46
52
ONE
27
56
60
Yang Ming
28
56
62
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