ACCC investigates shipping line
anti-competitive behavior

"Looking at" potential shipping line anti-competitive behaviour

As the International Trade industry continues to be impacted by skyrocketing ocean freight rates, in Australia there has been some persistent & beneficial lobbying of the Federal Government to look more closely at freight and related costs impacting our supply chains.

Under Part X of the Consumer & Competition Act 2010, there exists broad exemptions from competition law for registered shipping lines to coordinate with each other in transporting cargo to, or from, Australia.
Whether or not that ‘coordination’ involves some aspect of shipping volume management and aligned freight rates will form part of the ACCC [Australian Competition & Consumer Commission] investigation.

For those of us still awaiting the outcome of the ACCC’s investigation into domestic fuel costs & price cycles, we may be a tad doubtful of what the ACCC will achieve.

The comments from the ACCC chair recently didn’t inspire us with confidence…

There is a limited amount I can say on it, but we are looking at the freight system – particularly the role that containers play, I can certainly say that, and that is certainly on the list of investigations
“We are aware of what’s going on with containers, and we are investigating it.
“It is not a cartel activity (investigation); it is anti-competitive behaviour.

It is not necessarily massively advanced but it is something we are looking at.”

The good thing is that the topic of current supply chain costs is getting airtime and getting the attention of our Federal Government.

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