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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