The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a discussion pact among ocean carriers serving the U.S. export trades to Asia, has formed a 16-member advisory board to solicit the views of shippers. According to WTSA, the new body is the direct result of a series of shipper meetings convened by the carriers over the past two years. Objectives include strengthening shipper-carrier relationships over the long term, addressing short-term issues related to contracting, operations and services; and identifying best practices for such day-to-day processes as booking, documentation and demand forecasting. Industries represented include exporters of cotton, grains, meat, machinery and metal scrap. Also included are beneficial cargo owners and third-party consolidators. To reflect broad differences in shippers' concerns among market segments, commodities, seasons and other factors, advisory board members have set up working subcommittees to address unique trade characteristics, WTSA said. Members will serve two-year minimum terms, followed by staggered membership rotations. WTSA is a voluntary discussion and research forum of 10 ocean and intermodal container carriers.
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