China Shipping Container Lines has filed an application with the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), to waive 'controlled carrier' rules that it must wait 30 days after filing proposed changes in cargo rates on US trades. CSCL said that it wants to be considered under the same conditions as non-controlled carriers, and thus be able to make changes to rates with immediate effect.
Under the FMC rules, a controlled carrier is a shipping line that is fully or partly owned by a foreign government. Thus, if that carrier intends to either lower or raise rates for containerised cargo, it must first make the application through the FMC, then wait 30 days before making the necessary changes.
CSCL argued that it is engaged in a competitive industry, and thus seeks to operate on a level playing field with other carriers. Having to wait 30 days to make rate changes is unfair and unjust, said a CSCL source. CSCL also said that the Chinese government is not involved in its day-to-day running, and does not provide it with financial support.
In the late 1990s, the FMC waived similar rulings on the operation of China Ocean Shipping Co, and in 2000 Sinotrans applied for its controlled carrier status to be reviewed. In the case of Sinotrans, no decision has yet been taken.