Freight News, Sea

Consortia fail to improve services, says shippers

[ April 1, 2019   //   ]

The Shipping Line Consortia block exemption regulation (BER) has failed to improve services, says the European Shippers’ Council (ESC).

In a position paper published as part of the European Commission’s ongoing consultation, it says that with unreliability, cancelled sailings and a lack of transparency, shippers have not seen the improvement in the service quality that the BER was supposed to deliver.

Moreover, no consortium is fully compliant with the BER criteria for market share, exceeding allowed thresholds and creating high concentration on main trade lanes, ESC adds.

The BER has also led to an unfair legal treatment of consortia partners versus their customers, it adds, saying: “The regulation in its current form accepts the lack of transparency in consortia compliance, but shippers have no legal footing to defend their interests vis-à-vis consortia.”
ESC is calling for a new BER that would clearly define allowable market share, make consortia partners accountable, and provide a transparent mechanism of compliance procedures and for the current regulation to be amended, if not repealed.