Home » Breaking News, Maritime » Shippers seek to block liner collaboration in Asia-Pacific

Shippers’ groups are urging regulators in the Asia-Pacific region to ban liner conferences in the same way Europe has, saying collective carrier actions are unhealthy for international trade.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has asked New Zealand’s Productivity Commission to keep exempt liner practices such as conferences and consortia agreements from the competition provisions of the New Zealand Commerce Act, the Journal of Commerce (JOC) reports. The commission is looking into the performance of the international freight transport sector in New Zealand.

The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) said international trade can bloom only if it depends directly on the needs of the trade, not on the line’s own or group ambitions.

“ESC believes that in the European post-conference environment it is imperative that we protect the advances made in Europe by supporting shippers elsewhere in the world to remove similar block exemptions for shipping lines,” said Nicolette van der Jagt, ESC secretary general, as quoted by JOC.

John Lu, chairman of the Asian Shippers’ Council, said cooperation between lines was “anathema” to free trade, since it makes them act like cartels and pushes up transport costs.

The ICS is asking the commission to “take full account of the recognition given by other competition authorities” to the benefits of liner conferences and consortia. The ICS also stressed that New Zealand’s current exemption was in line with the policies of Australia, the United States, China and other Far Eastern countries.


Photo by JAXPORT


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