Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Andrew M. Danas

First Page



This Article analyzes the significant issues facing the Presidential Advisory Commission on Ocean Conferences in Ocean Shipping. This Commission will assess the success of the Shipping Act of 1984 and will report to Congress on the need for changes in the 1984 Act and in United States regulatory policy regarding international ocean common carriers. Mr. Danas recommends that the Commission carefully examine the antitrust-exempt conferences, which international ocean common carriers have been organizing for over one hundred years for the purpose of self-regulation and rationalization. Mr. Danas suggests that the review of the continued existence of the liner conference system requires a recognition that the ocean transportation industry is changing into an international intermodal transportation industry that handles shipments in one continuous movement from origin to destination. The author emphasizes that the development of a post-1992 European Common Market and the adoption of Pacific Rim distribution techniques will further the trend towards integrated transportation companies and the use of full service logistics in international shipping. He suggests that the development of the international intermodal transportation company and the needs of shippers dealing with such companies must figure prominently in the Advisory Commission's treatment of those issues that Congress has required it to address--tariff filing, antitrust immunity for ports, independent action on service contracts, and the existence of the conference system. Mr. Danas suggests a framework whereby the Commission may successfully integrate these issues into the task presently committed to it by Congress.