Global Shippers Forum questions extending ocean carrier consortia protection

The recommendation by the European Commission to renew the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER) for a four-year period from April 2020 has been slammed by the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF).

James Hookham, Secretary General of GSF said: “We are disappointed with the outcome of the Commission’s review and disagree on several points with its reasoning. We shall be setting out our concerns and arguments in response, and campaigning for greater policing of shipping lines’ activities.”

The principal commercial activities that the CBER allows are vessel-sharing arrangements between shipping lines that allow a frequency and range of destinations to be offered to shippers by a ‘pooling’ of vessel capacity on a particular route.

The GSF says the EU’s stated intention to renew the BER, while not unexpected, ignores the views of exporters and importers to and from the EU and their global suppliers and customers, who are concerned at continuing poor service levels in some trades served by consortia due to over-investment in capacity and seeming lack of competitive pressures.

“In our view the Commission has missed the opportunity to ask the bigger questions about how the shipping sector got into its current situation of historically low shipping rates and over-capacity on many routes and whether the continuing exemptions from normal competition rules provided by the Block Exemption are the right remedy in the long term.

Source: GSF

< Return