Shippers and forwarders mull legal bid against alliances to cap soaring rates

containers on loading pier

The European Commission has said it does not regard the huge container spot rate increases between Asia and Europe as sufficient justification to investigate carriers for an infringement of the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) for consortia.

The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) and European freight forwarder association CLECAT had presented the EC with data relating to the increase in blank sailings, a decrease in reliability “and especially the outrageous price hikes that most customers had to accept in order to have goods loaded”.

They said the massive rate increases were putting many small companies “in a situation of losing money and businesses”.

The ESC said: “The commission responded to be fully aware of the present market situation, including recent price hikes, which, from their point of view, were mainly due to the wane and surge on the demand side as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis.”

The competition commission maintained that there were only two circumstances where the EC had the right to start an examination: when a formal review of the BER is relaunched (in three years’ time); or “in the context of a legal complaint”.

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Source: The Loadstar

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