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EvergreenWASHINGTON, DC: October 22, 2016. The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has approved the proposed Ocean Alliance of COSCO Shipping, CMA CGM, Evergreen Marine and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) with effect from October 24, 2016.

The green light follows what the FMC described as an "exhaustive" review process that examined all aspects of the proposed agreement to assure an adequate level of competition among ocean container carriers.

The four Ocean Alliance members are now permitted to share vessels; charter and exchange space on each other's ships; and enter into cooperative working arrangements in international trade lanes between the U.S. and ports in Asia, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean.

"The Commission worked very hard to balance the needs of not only the Ocean Alliance applicants, but all other parties involved in the intermodal supply chain," said FMC chairman Mario Cordero. "The agreement going into force represents a consensus of what will allow Ocean Alliance carriers to achieve efficiencies without harming the marketplace," he added.

Earlier this year CMA CGM vice chairman Rodolphe Saadé said the new group was "a very ambitious operational agreement". With FMC approval, the four carriers are now expected to begin services in April 2017 for an initial five-year period with 350 containerships on 40 maritime loops worldwide.

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