NCBFAA URGES END TO OCEAN CARRIER ANTITRUST IMMUNITY
The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America says
Congress should narrow or eliminate antitrust provisions for carriers in the Ocean
Shipping Reform Act.
"The unregulated antitrust immunity existing today is a throwback to an
era of robber barons and cutthroat discriminatory practices," the NCBFAA said.
"Coupled with confidential or secret contracts, and with virtual absence
of any U.S.-flag carriers, it enables foreign carriers to continue to exploit the U.S.
marketplace, primarily at the expense of the smaller
shipper, forwarder and non-vessel operating common carrier."
In late 1998 Transpacific Stabilization Agreement carriers were alleged to
have refused to provide cargo space covered under contracts unless smaller shippers and
intermediaries agreed to rate increases and other charges.
Some large shippers are also dissatisfied with the OSRA changes. "The
antitrust immunized carriers have been able to make a mockery of the confidential aspect
of the service contracts that was of such importance to the shippers," NCBFAA said.