ESC white paper warns of shipping ‘monopoly’
The European Shippers’ Council has released a white paper on container transport competition ahead of a summit between the US, China and Europe in Brussels on 18 June.
ESC warns that the market has evolved into one where a monopoly of four alliances have “impressive market shares in certain trade lanes” (for example, the G6 has over 45% market share between North America and North Europe) and their global reach requires a review of procedures and safeguards.
While moves to streamline services, reduce costs and make better use of nautical tools are welcome, shippers must stay alert to “the potential risks of concentration such as reducing of number of direct calls, increasing of transit time or artificial capacity management.” ESC is calling on regulators to control and monitoring cooperation between ship operators.
It also called on summit participants to jointly define the concept of “relevant market” used in competition analysis so that market shares are calculated uniformly.