Table 2-4
Vessel Operating Common Carriers' Service Contracts and Amendments on File with the Federal Maritime Commission, 2006

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Month Original contracts Amendments
January 3,448 18,768
February 3,519 18,159
March 4,945 23,955
April 8,116 23,747
May 7,482 21,199
June 4,126 24,861
July 2,752 21,427
August 2,603 22,098
September 2,544 20,646
October 2,629 19,781
November 2,313 20,009
December 2,757 20,855
Total 47,234 255,505

SOURCE: Federal Maritime Commission, Office of Service Contracts and Tariffs, special tabulation, May 30, 2007.

  • The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is an independent regulatory agency responsible for the regulation of oceanborne transportation in the foreign commerce of the United States. The principal statutes or statutory provisions administered by the Commission are: the Shipping Act of 1984; the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988; section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920; and Public Law 89-777.
  • An ocean common carrier is denned in the Shipping Act of 1984 as a vessel operating common carrier (VOCC). VOCCs are required to keep tariffs (a showing of its rates, charges, classification, rules, and practices between all points or ports) open for public inspection (46 CFR Part 520).
  • Vessel operating common carriers may enter into agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. The rules for this can be found in 46 CFR Part 535. In addition, VOCCs may enter into service contracts with one or more shippers (46 CFR Part 530).

1 Federal Maritime Commission, About Us, available at as of August 2007.

2 Federal Maritime Commission, Vessel Operating Common Carriers, available at home/VesselOperatingCommonCarriers.asp as of August 2007.