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Shippers would not trust a price index generated from data supplied by container lines, according preliminary results conducted on the Web site of The Shipper's Voice (www.shippersvoice.com).
A price index is a key component of Brussels-based carrier lobby group the European Liner Affairs Association’s proposal to the European Commission as way of a replacement for liner conferences, which are due for abolishment in Europe next October.
“The poll is only a small one at the moment and we are still collecting responses, but it seems to be revealing a degree of skepticism about the proposed development of price indices by the carriers' group ELAA. This supports very much what shippers' representative groups are saying,” said Andrew Traill, one of the Shipper's Voice founders and policy advisor to the European Shippers’ Council.
“Shippers seem to think that lines might offer their highest, rather than average, rate increase for inclusion in the index — in order to raise the general benchmark for negotiations. A larger response to our poll would be useful to verify these early results. Much will depend of course on just how the ELAA proposals would work, but this highlights a level of distrust among shippers in the liner shipping industry, which will need to be addressed by the ELAA if its plans do come to be realized.”