Two major shipping lines doing business in Micronesia were found wanting at the Micronesia Shipping Commission’s annual meeting.

“ We disapproved Marianas Express Lines Ltd. who failed to provide required documentation to support its application. Horizon Lines LLC’s application was deferred until senior members of the commission have had time to review the application so it’s on hold for now ” said Weiner H. Hadley assistant secretary for marine transportation for the Federated States of Micronesia and executive secretary of the shipping commission. He spoke exclusively with the Journal.

Danny Lo Lim general manager of CTSI Logistics a partner in Marianas Express Lines Ltd. said the company has resubmitted the application.

He said company representatives in Palau who attended the meeting informed him that it seemed the commission was discouraging competition in the area stating that there was not enough business for two or three vessels to service.

Philippines Micronesia and the Orient Navigation Co. which does business as PM&O Lines vacated services to Palau and Yap in January.

“We are telling them that this is an opportunity for us to move forward because there is a need to fill the void left when PM&O stopped servicing Palau and Yap ” Lim said. “We need to have more competition for shipping services and we’re hopeful the commission will reconsider our renewed application.” Mar F. Labrador general manager of Horizon Lines LLC confirmed that his company is applying for a Vessel Operation Connecting Carrier entry clearance. “At this point I do not know if the application will be granted.”

A number of shipping lines doing business with the Micronesia Shipping Commission were granted extensions at the annual meeting held July 6 and 7 in Majuro.

The three nation members Palau the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands granted Guam-based Ambyth Shipping/Trading Inc. with its first three-year Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier extension certificate.

Hadley said “We had two full days of events regarding shipping issues especially in regards to security and the granting of entry assurances.”

He told the Journal several existing carriers were extended five-year Vessel Operating Common Carrier Certificates.

Extensions went to Philippine Micronesia Orient Lines; Matson Navigation Co.; FSM Lines Ltd. (a joint venture between Pohnpei Transfer and Storage and Kyowa Shipping); Western Pacific Shipping Co. (a joint venture between Palau Transfer and Storage and Kyowa shipping); Palau Shipping Co. in partnership with Kambara Kisen Co.; Chief Container Services; EurAsia Pacific Inc. (a Palauan company); and Kendal Micronesia Inc. [a Marshall Islands company].

“Ambyth joins Consolidated Transportation Services Inc. [which does business as CTSI Logistics] — another Guam-based company — as well as Pacific Micronesian Lines which is a division of Triple B Forwarders Inc. and Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha in providing container services throughout the region covered by the MSC ” Hadley said.

Akilino H. Susaia secretary of the Department of Transportation Communication and Infrastructure of the Federated States of Micronesia chaired the commission meeting. Chairmanship of the commission rotates on an annual basis. Michael Konelios minister of transport and communications for the Marshall Islands will serve as the next chairman.

Commission meetings coincided with the annual gathering of the Association of Terminal Operators and Stevedoring Companies of Micronesia.

Michael P. Henderson marketing and communications administrator for the Port Authority of Guam said port security topped the association’s agenda list.

“We went around the table and discussed what each of the members has done to implement new security measures ” he said. “Guam and Saipan are covered under the Maritime Transportation Security Act while the other members are covered under the International Ship and Port Facility Security Rules and Regulations. All said they have implemented the requirements as it pertains to each.”

Henderson said discussions were also held about a maritime training school. It was decided that Guam would be designated the best location for a training facility. “What will happen is the outer island ports will send two to three representatives to be trained in overall port operations with private companies like Matson Navigation and Marianas Steamship Lines also helping the trainees from member terminals to get an overall education and orientation of modern shipping procedures.”

At the ATOSCOM meeting election of officers was held. “The way the organization is set up is that companies hold the office and not any one individual but usually the general manager of each organization serves as the representing officer ” Henderson said.

Saipan Stevedoring Co. Inc. was re-elected as president; Belau Terminal and Transfer Co. as vice president; WAAB Transportation of Yap will serve as treasurer and the Port Authority of Guam as secretary.

The next meeting will be held In July 2005. MBJ