July 19 - With the expiry of guidelines for shipping lines in 2013 on how to share total volume and freight rate data, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents shipowner associations in 36 countries, is urging the European Union to co

Previously, the EU called for industry views on whether the guidelines should be extended. In response, ICS says it does not object to this, adding that it upholds the retention for ship-sharing consortia.

"Although a far looser form of cooperation than conferences, consortia provide stability to markets, helping guarantee the maintenance of scheduled services to more remote destinations and permitting efficiencies such as slot sharing on containerships," ICS said.

ICS claims that this viewpoint is supported by the World Shipping Council, which represents 29 liner carriers, and the European Community Shipowners Associations.