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Bad practices put in place by shipping container liner carriers

The European freight forwarders are once again urging the European Commission against the bad practices put in place by shipping container liner carriers.

Dear Customers,

The practices implemented by shipowners active in liner container transport are causing damage to the growth of trade in a period of economic recession. European freight forwarders have returned to alert the European Commission on issues concerning the violation of existing contracts, the insertion of unreasonable conditions for the acceptance of bookings and the application of fares much higher than those agreed in the contracts and constantly increasing.

At present, the shipping carriers have reserved the possibility to change the rates whenever they deem it appropriate and the shippers are faced with the problem of refused bookings and postponed loads for the sole purpose of obtaining new bookings for the carrier itself at considerably higher spot rates.

The unprecedented number of blank sailing (up to 30% or more on some trades) combined with the lack of reliability of the services (only 50% of the ships were on time in the last year, a situation which has worsened considerably in the last months) have facilitated the situation of price increases in order to make only the carriers reap extremely interesting profits at the expense of the market.

The current capacity shortage has allowed carriers to significantly increase tariffs on the spot market. Carriers' unreasonable practices with regard to container equipment, tariffs, demurrage and detention charges pose a serious risk to Europe's economic resilience. In the communication to Brussels, the Block Exemption Regulations are once again called into question, which allows for the extension of the regulation of exemption from the Antitrust rules for the category of scheduled shipping carriers once again. Alliance agreements authorize carriers to collectively agree on blank sailing.

The European Commission has been asked to counter this behavior and to take actions similar to those of competent authorities in other parts of the world

We thank you for your attention, best regards,

The Management