Beijing: The Ministry of Transport warned last year it would help “guide” shipping through the downturn and the latest Beijing edict has just arrived.
Shipping operators are now not allowed to offer zero or negative freight rates in order to compete for business, the ministry said Wednesday.
The ministry will initiate investigations into those companies that fail to adhere to this new ruling, and penalties will range from restriction of service frequency to suspension of operating licenses in the country.
"Actually the rule on international freight rates has been in place since 2009 and the penalties are in accordance with China's regulations for international maritime transportation. We reiterated the rule because the global shipping market is weak this year," Zhang Lin, an official at the international sea transportation department with the ministry, told the Global Times. [16/08/12]