International Competition Authorities Hold Meeting on Container Shipping Issues
Maritime competition authorities from across the world are continuing to keep a close eye on the actions of ocean carriers amid the unprecedented cargo boom that has contributed to supply chain bottlenecks and soaring freight rates.
U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner Chairman Daniel B. Maffei on Tuesday joined colleagues from the European Union and the People’s Republic of China for the fifth biennial meeting of the Global Regulatory Summit to discuss competition issues related to the shipping industry.
The meeting, held virtually, hit on three broad agenda items currently facing the industry. The first topic included developments in the sector since the start of the COVID-pandemic, including an analysis of supply and demand and an identification of bottlenecks in the ocean-linked supply chain and the causes of service disruptions. The delegation also discussed actions undertaken so far by relevant jurisdictions and authorities, and finally ways forward and possible actions to increase resilience and smooth operations in the sector.
“The performance of ocean carriers in meeting historic demand for their services and the unusually high costs to move ocean containers are of interest and concern to regulators, legislators, and the public globally,” said FMC Chairman Maffei. “Today’s session of the Global Regulatory Summit provided key competition authorities responsible for the oversight of the container shipping industry the opportunity to share information about what their respective monitoring and enforcement regimes are observing in the marketplace and compare conclusions about carrier behavior. I applaud my colleagues from the European Union for holding this meeting and providing a forum for an invaluable exchange of information.”
The European Delegation was led by Henrik Mørch, the Director for Transport, Post, and Other Services, Directorate General for Competition. The Chinese delegation was led by Li Tianbi, Director General of the Water Transport Bureau, Ministry of Transportation, People’s Republic of China. Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye, who is leading the FMC’s Fact Finding 29 investigation into ocean supply chain challenges during the COVID-19 era, along with Commissioners Michael A. Khouri and Carl W. Bentzel, also attended the Summit on behalf of the FMC.
The delegations agreed to hold the next meeting of the Global Regulatory Summit in Beijing in 2023.
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