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TSA Creates Shipper Advisory Board, Launches Ongoing Consultations with Customers

Panel seeks to bolster the shipper-carrier relationship and address key operational and contracting issues.

Oakland, CA / October 4, 2010 – Container shipping lines in the transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) have opened an unprecedented new channel of communication with customers, with the establishment of a shipper advisory board. The new panel provides a forum, under TSA auspices, to strengthen the overall shipper-carrier relationship and improve collaboration on key issues affecting their respective industries.

The advisory board, first suggested by customers at a forum convened by TSA earlier this year, is a logical extension of numerous, groundbreaking shipper-carrier meetings TSA has hosted since 2007 – dating back even before the worst of the global recession. It provides a long-needed platform for candid, senior-level dialogue to address the unique concerns of transpacific shippers and carriers.

Participating shippers represent the major retail market segments of the Asia-U.S. trade, including apparel and footwear, sporting goods, consumer electronics, home furnishings, toys, general department store merchandise and transportation intermediaries. TSA said it will continue reaching out to companies in an effort to further broaden customer representation over time.

“An advisory board formalizes a process for shippers and carriers to engage directly on short-term issues of mutual concern, as well as broader, longer-term developments facing our industries and the transpacific market,” explained TSA chairman and Hanjin Shipping Co. CEO Y.M. Kim. “It facilitates mutual understanding and allows us to jointly pursue solutions and best practices in our contracting, operations and business processes, and in our communications on a day-to-day basis.”

“C.H. Robinson is very pleased the shipper advisory board will provide a forum to openly exchange views on issues of critical importance that face our industry,” added advisory board member and C.H. Robinson director of ocean services Kenneth Sine. “We believe it’s a unique opportunity to promote greater collaboration and seek sustainable solutions that are beneficial to all. We’re looking forward to our participation and to working with such an important group of shippers on these critical topics.“

TSA executive administrator Brian M. Conrad called the initiative especially valuable now, as the transpacific trade emerges from global recession and a fractious period of tight vessel space, equipment shortages and volatile rates. “Shippers and carriers have been through a difficult time and need to mend fences,” Conrad said. “but more importantly, the recession revealed operational challenges in the trade that are unsustainable as supply chains become increasingly sophisticated and complex, and that all parties need to work together to solve.”

Advisory board members have identified key areas of interest – from service issues, slow steaming to port infrastructure and the contracting process – and are in the process of assigning priorities for the coming year.

TSA is a research and discussion forum of major container shipping lines serving the trade from Asia to ports and inland points in the U.S.

Members include:

APL, Ltd.

China Shipping Container Lines
COSCO Container Lines, Ltd.
Evergreen Line
Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd.
Hapag Lloyd Container Linie
Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line)

Maersk Line
Mediterranean Shipping Co.

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (N.Y.K. Line)

Orient Overseas Container Line, Inc.
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp.
Zim Integrated Shipping Services

Contact: Niels Erich
T: (415) 525-4520
F: (415) 358-4540

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