US warns box lines against transpac collusion

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has warned container lines that it will act against any perceived violation of competition rules, and it has “heightened its scrutiny of markets, individual ocean carriers, and the three global carrier alliances in response to the unusual circumstances and challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Following a private meeting yesterday, the FMC said it had examined market trends in trade lanes serving the United States and actions taken by both individual ocean carriers and global alliances in response to COVID-19 and related impacts to the shipping industry.

Although the FMC regularly holds meetings to receive updates on international trade, the container shipping industry, and analysis of carrier agreement monitoring activities, the agency said it “has heightened its scrutiny of markets, individual ocean carriers, and the three global carrier alliances in response to the unusual circumstances and challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic”. This week’s meeting focused on those developments, it said.

“Specifically, the Commission received detailed reports that addressed trends in spot rates, longer-term service contracts, utilisation of equipment, blanked sailings, revenue trends, the policies of individual carriers and global alliances for service changes, and what notice must be provided to the FMC when there are blanked, cancelled, or amended voyages,” the agency said.

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Source: Lloyd’s Loading List