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Commissioner William P. Doyle’s Statement in Support of United Arab Shipping Company’s Petition for Exemption from the FMC’s Controlled Carrier Rules

June 26, 2015

Mr. Chairman,

I support the Commission granting the petition for exemption from the Commission’s Controlled Carrier Rule -- 46 USC 40703 -- for United Arab Shipping Company. I thank the FMC staff for their due diligence on this matter and note that UASC will remain subject to all other applicable provisions of the Shipping Act and our regulations. Separate from this petition, I want to add my perspective on UASC and recent actions by this carrier.

United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) is an industry leader and a pioneer of sorts in international shipping.

I am increasingly impressed with their transparent communications that informs the shipping public of changes to their sailing schedule and their environmental stewardship.

UASC announced last week it is making changes to its sailing schedule, effective from week 27 to week 38, for a total of 12 sailings. In making this announcement, UASC stated that its intention is to provide early notice prior to implementation to help customers plan ahead, while the changes to sailings "offers structural change to remove the need for costly ad hoc operational solutions and optimizes UASC's network with viable alternatives across services to minimize impact on current sailing schedules for main ports."

UASC further stated that better planning and stronger utilization of its fleet would also support the shipping line’s aim of green shipping solutions by reducing CO2 emissions per TEU.

With respect to their pioneering role, United Arab Shipping Company is adding to their existing fleet of container ships by constructing seventeen newbuilds that are LNG-fuel ready. The first of the ships, the SAJIR, was christened in November 2014 and is the industry’s first ever LNG-ready ultra large container ship. This 14,000 TEU vessel will be joined by ten 15,000 TEU ships and six 18,000-TEU (plus) vessels, to be delivered by mid-2016.

Mitsui (MOL) is following UASC’s lead by recently placing an order for four-six ultra large container ships. Just last week, Carnival Cruise Lines announced that it will build four of the largest, most environment-friendly cruise ships, capable of operating on LNG as its fuel source.

Using natural gas as a marine fuel helps shipowners meet domestic and international environmental regulations such as MARPOL ANNEX VI Emission Control Areas. Natural gas as a marine fuel reduces sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions by 100 percent, particulate matter (PM) by 91 percent, nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 90 percent, and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 35 percent.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a motion to grant the petition for exemption from the Commission’s Controlled Carrier Rule -- 46 USC 40703 -- for United Arab Shipping Company, and instruct the Office of General Counsel to prepare the order as soon as possible.

The motion was seconded by Chairman Cordero and passed unanimously by the Commission.