World Shipping Council Opposed to Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act

The World Shipping Council (WSC) has voiced its opposition to the Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act, introduced the week of 27 March.

Among other key points, the proposed legislation would revoke the exemption for foreign ocean carriers from federal antitrust laws. According to a U.S. Department of Transportation report, over 80% of the shipping market is controlled by the top ten foreign-based ocean carriers. This new act would apply antitrust laws to these carriers, which would allow the U.S. to address unfair trade practices.

The WSC argues that the Shipping Act provides legal certainty for ocean carriers to share space on ships, which benefits the supply chain, and that removing this system would undermine competition and choice in liner shipping services. John Butler, WSC President and CEO, said, “Nobody has offered a reason why we should throw away such a useful tool as vessel sharing arrangements.”