Unfinished Business Shipping Reform

Davies, Malory
April 2000
Logistics & Transport Focus;Apr2000, Vol. 2 Issue 3, p45
Trade Publication
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act was brought in by the government of the U.S. in 1999. This article looks at how its impact was not limited to American shipping lines and how the liner shipping industry is responding. Ocean carriers regard the law as a key that will unlock market forces previously fettered by government interference in the shipping market. The legislation allows carriers and shippers to enter into confidential service contracts. It frees carriers from the 'me-too' rate setting, whereby a shipper could demand the rates that carriers were required to file publicly under the old regime. Representatives of small shippers see the law as a big shipper's charter, that enables large-volume players to negotiate highly favorable freight rates, forcing smaller, less powerful shippers to pay higher prices.


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