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New Jersey tire importer lodges $1m suit against Evergreen

An American tire importer is the latest shipper to take container lines to the regulators.

New Jersey-based Foreign Tire Sales has filed a complaint with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) claiming Taiwan’s Evergreen Group has exploited its customers and manipulated the market to increase prices and profits.

The tire importer stated it had a service contract with Evergreen to provide shipping services from May 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022. The contract stipulated Evergreen must provide space for a minimum of 100 forty foot containers. Foreign Tire Sales said that as of the end of January, Evergreen had provided space for 17 containers — less than 20% of what had been agreed in the contract.

Foreign Tire Sales said it has had to spend an extra $1m diving into the spot market over the past year to get its goods to market.

Evergreen and other international ocean freight carriers have organized themselves into collusive alliances at the expense of shippers

Foreign Tire Sales claimed that Evergreen, and other carriers, created “the appearance of a lack of space in their ships”

“Evergreen and other international ocean freight carriers have organized themselves into collusive alliances at the expense of shippers,” the complaint alleges.

Foreign Tire Sales is seeking to recoup the $1m it has paid on the spot market plus damages and legal fees from Evergreen, which has yet to respond to the complaint.

The FMC has been inundated with complaints from shippers over the past year, a period of time where liners have made record profits while schedule reliability has hit all-time lows.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Is it a breach of contract? Yeah, sounds like it might be. Is there a mutual liquidated damages clause, or is it just one way against the shipper? Who knows… probably not for a contract that size. For sake of argument, let’s say there is a mutual LD, and for example, let’s say its $500/FEU. Evergreen’s exposure would be $41,500 ((100-17) x 500). Good luck with the $1m lawsuit… hardly seems worth the legal expense, this size contract would have been better off with a forwarder/NVO. You never want to be a small fish in a giant pond.

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