April 7 - The European Community Shipowners Associations (ECSA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the World Shipping Council (WSC) support the European Commission's proposal to extend the period of application of the so-called liner consort

Since 1995, the Commission has adopted a series of consortia block exemption regulations, each effective for a five-year period.

, ICS and WSC said that today's liner industry was battling with chronic overcapacity and high fuel costs, which have doubled between 2007 and 2013, and are expected to rise even further with the lower global fuel sulphur limit, dropping from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent in 2020 or 2025.

Liner shipping has oriented itself towards economies of scale by ordering increasingly larger vessels, which can reduce per unit costs.

However to take advantage of these economies of scale, ships have to be fully loaded. Agreements and concerted practices between liner shipping in the framework of consortia are therefore necessary for the industry to cope with the current environment, say the three organisations.