The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has approved the formation of OCEAN Alliance, a joint collaboration between COSCO Shipping, CMA CGM, Evergreen Marine, and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL).

The approval was given after the completion of a detailed review process conducted by the FMC.

The FMC said that the review, which inspected all aspects of the proposed alliance, has ensured that competition in the ocean transportation industry would not suffer from the new alliance.

"The approval was given after the completion of a detailed review process conducted by the FMC."

With the FMC approval, the OCEAN Alliance members will be able to share vessels, and charter and exchange space on each other’s ships.

The approval has also paved the way for cooperative working arrangements in international trade lanes between the US and ports in Asia, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Federal Maritime Commission chairman Mario Cordero said: "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, with the ultimate goal of safeguarding competition in international oceanborne common carriage, with the American shipping public foremost in mind.

“The agreement going into force represents a consensus of what will allow OCEAN Alliance carriers to achieve efficiencies without harming the marketplace.”

In April, OCEAN Alliance members signed a memorandum of uderstanding (MoU) to form the alliance, which plans to begin operations by April next year.

The alliance will work for a period of five years.