September 17 - The World Shipping Council has expressed its disappointment over an initiative in the US by a coalition of 32 groups representing importers, exporters and third-party logistics companies sent a letter to Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., cal
The letter preceeds a bill which Oberstar is expected to introduce to end antitrust protection for the liner industry.
In an official statement, the World Shipping Council said: "that all sectors of the liner shipping industry had difficulties adjusting to the rapid and unexpected growth in trade volumes following the unprecedented and financially disastrous year of 2009.
"Ocean carriers have added sufficient capacity to handle all U.S. imports. Capacity presently deployed to carry U.S. exports far exceeds shipper demand. Carriers have also made substantial capital commitments in ordering additional container equipment to meet customers' needs.
"Lines have returned to profitability from the brink of financial disaster, although rates in the TransPacific are still not at 2008 levels.
"Carriers have been working cooperatively with the Federal Maritime Commission and with shipper representatives in efforts to discuss how current contracting processes can be improved for all parties. WTSA has established an Export Shippers Advisory Panel. TSA's Import Advisory Council began discussion last week with shippers.
"We are disappointed with the letter and its lack of recognition of these facts. However, the liner shipping industry is willing to discuss the Shipping Act and the current regulatory system with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, with shippers, with labor, and with the port community."