Alphaliner: EU case challenges carriers rate practice

Container carriers have announced rate increases 34 times since 2009. And the carriers have acted in unison almost every time, with identical price increases, according to data from Alphaliner.

Photo: Port of Gothenburg

Since 2009, the big container carriers on the routes from the Far East to to Europe have announced at least 34 rate increases. In a vast majority of the cases, the timing and extent of these increases, announced within a few days of each other, have been virtually identical for all the pace-setting carriers.

This is evident from data collected by analysts Alphaliner, which estimates that the EU-Commission's decision to open a competition proceeding against the container carriers could become a serious test of the entire system in container shipping, with its identical rate increases, where carriers - according to the Commission - either directly or indirectly alert each other to the rate increases. And this practice could prove in violation of EU competition law, says Alphaliner.

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