Agricultural exporters in the US have called on authorities to impose greater scrutiny on shipping alliances and the behavior of shipping lines during the pandemic, reports gCaptain.
Global alliances vs Global shipping
“Today a system of global alliances dominates global shipping, where nine carriers that have been organised into three alliances controlling about 80% of the global shipping market, and 95% on the critical east-west tradelanes,” said the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTrans).
“Alliances only controlled 29% of the market as recently as 2011,” it added.
“This lack of competition leaves American businesses at the mercy of just three alliances. Retailers are charged fees for their container remaining on the docks, even if there is no way to move their containers. If the alliances decide to not accept exports, agricultural exporters will not be able to fulfil their contracts, and farmers’ perishable products may be left to rot.”
However, AgTrans acknowledged recent improvements at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and noted that 60,000 empty containers had now been moved from the two west coast ports, while the number of boxes sitting on docks for more than nine days had been cut by one-third in the first two weeks of November.
It said the congestion fee imposed on lines by the ports had helped shift “long-dwelling containers” – a move so successful that the fee has been postponed.
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