ESC calls on EU to abolish carrier price sharing

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The European Shippers’ Council has asked European Commissioner Vestager for Competition to abolish the system of price arrangements by maritime container carriers.

The Commission recently reached an agreement with 15 lines to improve the transparency of pricing information.

However, the ESC said 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,” it said in a letter to the commissioner.

“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 pointed out 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.”

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