ESC: abolish carrier price sharing
The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) has asked European Commissioner Vestager for Competition to completely abolish the system of price arrangements by maritime container carriers.
As the result of the Commission’s investigation in the maritime pricing public announcement practice, 15 deep sea shipping companies have proposed this practice to be authorized but framed by a binding commitment under EU law which would clarify the pricing information published and give it time constraints.
Representing the logistic interests of manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, collectively referred to as shippers, the ESC today argues in a letter to Commissioner Vestager that even with the new proposed frame this practice is unfair to customers in an industry which is already subject to a significant concentration move and benefitting from exemption to competition legislation. Liners could continue testing the consequences of the published tariffs as they did in the past.
Especially for small and medium enterprises, the effect could be an unfounded increase in maritime freight costs as they might be unable to counter the market force of the shipping companies. Larger companies might be impacted as well when the present overcapacity of the market will have been reduced. The ESC underlines that such a system applies only in the containers maritime shipping. The ESC is asking the Commissioner not to add further exemption to the present regulation of the sector and to completely abolish any present or proposed form of public communication of prices, that only applies to container maritime shipping.