THE Alliance is establishing a USD 50 million insolvency contingency fund to ensure smooth cargo flow in the event of another ocean carrier bankruptcy or catastrophic failure.
The parties to THE Alliance agreement submitted an amendment for the creation of the fund with the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on September 14 and the Commission granted the request of petitioning parties for an expedited review. The amendment is effective immediately, the FMC said.
Each of the members of the alliance, including Hapag-Lloyd AG and Hapag-Lloyd USA LLC (acting as one party), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Yang Ming Marine Transport, would initially contribute USD 1 million into the contingency trust fund and a further USD 9 million in additional funds or through a letter of credit.
The agreement also establishes procedures for the orderly removal and/or replacement of vessels in case of a bankruptcy and the rights of the remaining parties to negotiate directly with agents and subcontractors of the affected party. The contingency fund would be administered by a trustee, the FMC informed.
"Last year's collapse of Hanjin Shipping was a wake-up call for the entire ocean transportation and logistics chain. Over USD 14 billion worth of cargo was stranded at sea on 100 ships scattered around the globe. It is so important that another Hanjin debacle does not happen again," William P. Doyle, FMC Commissioner, said.
"I applaud the innovative actions taken by carriers of THE Alliance. It is a responsible commercial reaction to the events of last year and it serves to assure the shipping public that its cargo will be delivered in a reliable and timely manner," Doyle added.