• Home
  • News
  • Global Shippers Forum points out the lack of competition in container shipping
  • 2022 June 29 09:35

    Global Shippers Forum points out the lack of competition in container shipping

    Current measures of competitiveness in the global liner shipping market are incomplete and therefore inaccurate and fail to take full account of the degree of co-operation between carriers which results in a more highly concentrated industry, to the serious detriment of shippers worldwide, according to the Global Shippers Forum's release.

    This conclusion is one of the findings presented in the Container Shipping Market Quarterly Review for Quarter 1 2022 prepared by MDS Transmodal (MDST) in collaboration with Global Shippers Forum (GSF). A modified measure is proposed, based on the alternative indicators suggested in a recent study produced by OECD/ITF and MDST that better reflects the degree of cooperation by lines, not just through the three big alliances but also agreements under which lines in different Alliances operate shared services.

    Competition authorities until now have relied on traditional but incomplete tools to assess the level of concentration across trades, most commonly the Herfindahl–Hirschman Index (HHI). However, this indicator does not take into consideration the full extent of co-operation between shipping lines permitted under block exemption and other anti-trust immunity provisions.

    When these ‘inter-Alliance’ consortia are included the concentration of the market, as measured by the modified HHI, is much higher. The Modified HHI exceeds the accepted threshold of 2,500 points at which an industry is considered ‘highly concentrated’, by most competition regulators. 

    GSF believes the recent ‘Fact Finding Investigation 29 - Final Report’ published by the US Federal Maritime Commission in May this year does not yet provide a complete picture, as the report maintains the liner trades serving the USA can be characterised as exhibiting ‘vigorous competition’ because their HHI has been measured at below 2,500 points.

    GSF urges the FMC and all other competition authorities to utilise the more accurate MHHI measure in its assessments of the container shipping market, and in particular of the concentration in market share achieved through all agreements permitted under block exemption and anti-trust immunity provisions.

    “This breakthrough analysis lays bare the degree of dominance that many shipping lines actually have in the key global trades,” comments GSF’s Director James Hookham. “Current measures of market concentration are only seeing part of the picture. Not only are there consortia operations within the three main Alliances, the number of separate consortia that exist consisting of lines from different Alliances is also significant.” 

    It is GSF’s contention that a lack of, or reduction in the levels of competition, leads directly to poor service quality for shippers. This is borne out by other findings in the ‘Quarterly Review’. The number of port calls achieved (in comparison with those scheduled) fell to 68%, the lowest level recorded since this analysis began in 2020 and, though capacity lost through skipped ports in Europe declined in Q1 2022, it continued to rise in both Asia and Australia with shippers consequently suffering from further export delays.




2022 August 18

16:10 Anaergia’s Tønder plant to supply CO2 to European Energy A/S for green E-methanol production as fuel for container ships
15:50 Norsepower signs agreement with Dalian Shipbuilding to install Rotor Sails onboard two newbuild CO2 carrier vessels
15:33 Mechel attributes decrease in coal sales in 1H'22 to limited carrying capacity of railroads leading to FE ports
15:14 Fluxys, ArcelorMittal Belgium and North Sea Port start a feasibility study for the Ghent Carbon Hub project
14:41 Europe experiences its worst drought in 500 years - Xclusiv Shipbrokers
14:21 APM Terminals adds new services to support booming Latin American trade routes
14:15 21 ships shipped 563,318 tonnes of food products from Ukrainian ports from 1 August 2022
14:01 Global Maritime Services launches Marine Advisory for the FSRU & LNG sector
13:31 China to lift fishing ban in a phased manner in August and September - Standard Club
13:10 Ardmore Shipping expands presence in Singapore to support energy transition plan
13:04 MABUX: Bunker Weekly Outlook, Week 33, 2022
12:40 The average vessel utilisation on the major head-haul trades continues to be below the threshold - Sea-Intelligence
12:37 Over 3,000 TEU transported between Russia and Europe by FESCO European Railway Network
12:20 ABS contracted to address barriers to adoption of advanced nuclear technology at sea
12:00 Maersk Tankers welcomes Korean SK Energy as a pool partner
11:40 Kalmar terminal tractors chosen by Maldives Ports
11:20 KiwiRail selects MAN's engines for new ferries
11:03 Royal IHC and Karnafuly Ship Builders sign contracts for design, engineering and equipment of four CSDs
10:36 Port of Oakland July volume drops 28 percent in July 2022
10:23 Port of Los Angeles container volume up to record 935,345 TEU in July 2022
10:14 Overhaul of Berth No. 29 drainage networks completed in Vostochny port
09:57 Port of Long Beach welcomes Pasha Hawaii LNG-powered ship
09:15 Crude oil futures are slightly up driven by a number of factors
08:46 MABUX: Global bunker indices may turn to upward changes on Aug 18

2022 August 17

18:37 NFE and Apollo funds complete $2 bln LNG maritime joint venture
18:07 Steerprop to supply a complete propulsion package for first-of-its-kind Wind Installation Vessel
17:31 Svitzer brazil strengthens fleet with two newbuilds
17:23 SFL Corporation agrees to acquire four Suezmax tankers in combination with long term charters
17:12 TransContainer obtains 58.51% of SASCO stake
17:09 SCHOTTEL RudderPropellers to power world’s first hydrogen tug
16:47 Traffic along Rhine further hindered after vessel's engine failure - Reuters
16:14 Iranian company Khazar Sea Shipping Lines launches regular Caspian services between Iran and Russia
15:56 New E-Flexer ferry Stena Estelle takes up operation on 4 September
15:35 SCZONE signs MoU with Toyota Tsusho for infrastructure projects
14:55 Port of Hamburg's total throughput up 0.9 percent to 4.4 million TEU in H1 2022
14:35 Saudi Ports register 16% growth in cargo volumes in July 2022
14:25 Throughput of Chinese sea and river ports in 7M’2022 climbed by 0.1% YoY
13:13 RUSCON launched multimodal service between Japan and Kazakhstan
12:41 DFDS reports strong Q2 results and upgrads its outlook for the full year
12:11 Philippine Ports Authority net income up 9% in 1H 2022
11:42 New floating production unit delivered to ABS Class
11:26 NYK Tokyo Container Terminal starts operations of four transfer cranes
10:58 Global Ports Holding signs 30-year concession agreement for San Juan Cruise Port, Puerto Rico
10:09 Port of Long Beach releases the Deep Draft Navigation Integrated Feasibility Report
09:41 Crowley secures subcontract for hybrid-electric ferry
09:38 Delo Group acquired Sakhalin Shipping Company
09:17 Crude oil futures rise after a fall at the previous session
08:55 MABUX: Global bunker prices to continue firm downward trend on Aug 17

2022 August 16

18:11 Viktor Chernomyrdin icebreaker officially received the status of a passenger ship
17:55 Sailing ship Mir takes on board second shift of cadets this year
17:36 Wan Hai Lines acquired four 3,000 TEU containerships from CSBC Corporation
17:06 Gulf Navigation seals refinancing deal for 5 petrochemical tankers
16:42 ABP appoints the lead for Port Talbot Transformation Programme
16:23 Port of Singapore bunker sales in 7M’2022 fell by 8.6% YoY
16:04 More than 500 workers of the port of Liverpool to strike over an ‘inadequate’ pay offer - Unite
15:38 Port of Singapore throughput in 7M’2022 fell by 3.7% to 339.1 million tonnes
15:14 Reefer container freight rates stabilise but to outpace dry box pricing - Drewry
15:04 A.P. Moller - Maersk to adopt Viking’s HydroPen container firefighting system
14:49 Port of Helsinki throughput in January-July 2022 rose by 8.4% YoY
14:30 Suez Canal Authority and Maersk sign bilateral cooperation agreement