NIT LEAGUE RESPONDS TO OECD REPORT
The National Industrial Transportation League's ocean transportation committee presented a statement Monday supporting several aspects of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's report on liner shipping competition policy.
The report, from the OECD's transport division recommended that governments remove the antitrust immunity of conferences, discussion agreements and stabilization agreements.
The OECD draft report “provides clear and convincing evidence that the international liner shipping industry has experienced profound changes since its inception in the late 19th Century,” the NIT League said. “The League also agrees with the report that the economics of the industry today are not substantially different from those of other transportation providers. The OECD report points out the real questions now present themselves as to whether collective pricing authority is justified and/or relevant to the pursuit of broad public policy goals.”
The League added that, “while the report is critical of the limited authority presently available for carriers to discuss and/or fix rates- it correctly distinguishes those practices from competitive enhancing arrangements which may require limited antitrust exemptions. Such activities among liner carriers could include global alliances and consortia or more trade-specific requirements allowing for the sharing of ship capacity through slot sharing/chartering arrangements.”