FMC Rejects Port of NY/NJ Equipment Optimization Discussion Agreement

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has rejected the “Port of New York/New Jersey Equipment Optimization Discussion Agreement” for failing to meet the clear and definite disclosure standard required by law, as the Journal of Commerce reports.

The US Federal Maritime Commission says container lines and New York-New Jersey port officials must provide more details before receiving antitrust immunity to discuss operation of a proposed port-wide chassis pool.

The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey sought FMC approval of a discussion agreement allowing OCEMA, its carrier members, and the port authority to discuss various port issues, including the universal pool.

The agreement would not have permitted discussion of rates. However, it would have allowed carriers and the port authority to confer on a variety of operational and environmental issues.

Chassis discussion topics could have included the pool’s depot locations, phase-in schedule, governing structure, and selection of a pool manager, among other things.

The Institute of International Container Lessors, which urged the FMC to reject the agreement,  complained that the proposed discussion agreement would have given carriers and the port authority “a blank check, with antitrust immunity, to do whatever they want” with chassis owned or controlled by lessors.

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