House lawmakers crack down on Chinese ocean freight data

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers have passed a bill giving regulators new power to investigate potential violations of the law by the producer of one of the most closely watched container freight indexes.

The Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act of 2023, which passed the chamber on Thursday by a vote of 393-24, targets China’s Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE). SSE publishes the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, an aggregator of spot market data on which container freight rates in the...

FMC seeks to limit ocean carriers’ leverage on container space

Overhead view of container ship.

The Federal Maritime Commission is proposing a rule aimed at preventing ocean carriers from locking out customers from the carriers’ available vessel space.

The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), expected to be published this week in the Federal Register, will give the public 30 days to comment on a provision included in the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 that prohibits ocean carriers from unreasonably refusing to deal or negotiate with respect to vessel space accommodations.

“The NPRM...

Experts urge quick action to comply with ocean shipping reform law

Aerial view of Port of Los Angeles Pier 300

American shippers and the lawmakers supporting them were ecstatic that the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA) passed less than a year after it was introduced in Congress. However, that means all companies involved in ocean shipping must quickly start making operational changes to comply with the law, which addresses carrier billing and related issues.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) underscored that message on June 24, when the agency’s general counsel issued an opinion confirming...

House panels open price-gouging probe of major ocean carriers

Two congressional oversight panels have opened an investigation of three major ocean carriers, alleging that their dramatic rate hikes charged to shippers may have fueled inflation.

Leaders of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis and the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy — which operate under the House Committee on Oversight and Reform — sent letters on Wednesday to heads of Maersk, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd requesting information about their container rate increases and...

New legislation would strip ocean carrier antitrust protections

Ocean carriers would no longer enjoy their limited antitrust immunity under new legislation aimed at curbing what some lawmakers and the Biden administration consider to be out-of-control market power.

The Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act, introduced on Monday by Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., would amend U.S. shipping regulations by repealing section 40307 of Title 46 of the United States Code, which protects foreign carriers from certain antitrust laws.

“This bill is critical in leveling the...

Secondary trades suffer as carriers continue to chase the big bucks

The cellular fleet grew by 4.5% last year, to 24.97m teu, but capacity was cut on some routes as carriers re-deployed as much tonnage as they could on the more lucrative east-west tradelanes.
According to today’s Alphaliner data, the transpacific carriers deployed a further 1.3m teu of capacity on the Asia-North America trade last year than in 2020, a huge 31% increase in slots – albeit that about half the extra …

The post Secondary trades suffer as carriers continue to chase the big bucks...

Carrier ‘gravy train’ steams ahead, thanks to congestion and new contracts

Despite a weakening in demand, ocean carriers will bank another $200bn of profit between them this year.
In its latest Container Forecaster report, maritime consultant Drewry said it was downgrading its 2022 outlook for world port throughput to 4.6%, from its previous assessment of 5.2%.
This is due to “fast-rising inflation” and ongoing supply chain bottlenecks which, it said, were “conspiring to slow the pace of growth”.
Nonetheless, Drewry says it expects the …

The post Carrier ‘gravy train’...

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