Philippine authorities suspect collusion among container carriers

Manila is the latest place where carriers are under the spotlight for their pricing ploys.

A preliminary investigation by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) suggests some container lines are engaged in price fixing amid surging freight costs.

PCC commissioner Johannes Bernabe, in an interview with the local BusinessMirror newspaper, said that certain shipping lines calling Manila could be colluding.

“This kind of practice might be indicative of possible anti-competitive agreement or collusion,” he explained, adding that the commission has yet to find “definitive evidence” of price fixing. PCC’s enforcement office is still investigating the matter.

“We have requested information from the shipping lines,” Bernabe said.

The Philippines is not alone in investigating liner pricing amid record freight rates. Similar investigations have been undertaken in China, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and the US in recent months.

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. The Philippines, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and the US are all experts in dodgy business practices so maybe they know one when they see one.

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