Since the end of 2019, French shippers have gone through several crisis situations in maritime transport. At the national level there were port and rail strikes in December 2019 and January 2020. At the international level cyclical difficulties were linked to the Chinese New Year, then to the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. All this was followed by the total disruption of flows at the global level.
While each economic sector has taken steps to limit the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, shipping companies have kept the measures taken since spring 2020: reduction of their capacity with the withdrawal of many container ships, intensive practice of blank-sailing, and extremely high freight rates among others.
In addition to soaring prices and degraded services, shipping companies have imposed numerous surcharges on shippers. They also denounced certain agreements relating to detention and demurrage exemptions and practiced overbooking (vessel filling rate of around 110%) which allowed them to refuse the loading of certain goods that they deemed less profitable.
For more information, please see the AUTF Press Release (in French).