EU Calls for Closer Shipping Line Alliance Monitoring

In response to the creation of the four major east-west container shipping alliances, the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) has called for increased co-operation between liner customers and competition authorities.

The world’s three most important competition authorities: the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC),  China’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) and the European Commission consider that “monitoring of the sector warrants ever closer contact and better communication between competition and regulatory authorities.

The ESC urged the three authorities to develop a three-pronged joint action plan to create standard definitions of the various liner markets and, secondly, establish a global unified public file to which all carriers looking to co-operate have to submit their proposals.

In addition, the ESC  called for greater collaboration between shipper representatives, as well as between shippers and carriers, and proposed launching a pilot communication project at the end of this year to develop greater understanding between shippers, forwarders and carriers.  Shipper and forwarder associations should play a greater role and share more information on the impact of carrier alliances, which it said was harder to determine when it is analysed from a single perspective.

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