Singapore shippers fear 2M will act like a cartel

Singapore: The Singapore National Shippers' Council (SNSC) has today blasted the proposed vessel sharing agreement between boxlines Maersk and MSC, suggesting the new 2M alliance could influence freight rates.

“Instead of trying to beat the system, Maersk has become a system player as it believes this to be the only way to succeed in the current environment,” SNSC said in a statement. It claimed the Danish liner has been trying in the past year to test the anti-trust line, to see how far it can go before the regulators crack down on it. “We fear that the M2 – like other joint services and consortia – will serve as a backdoor for shipping lines to collectively influence freight rates,” SNSC said.

The shippers’ group said governments should outlaw “cartels”, such as rate agreements and such like which fix prices and/or limit capacity.  

Neither Maersk nor MSC has officially responded to the SNSC release.  [17/07/14]

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