Transport Costs

Aug 15, 2009 (LBO) – Asian shippers meeting in Colombo said they would lobby governments in the region to reform laws to prevent price fixing by shipping lines acting like cartels which they said hurts export-based economies. Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council chairman Randolph Perera said the island lacked the laws to prevent anti-competitive practices by shipping liner cartels, unlike Europe which recently introduced new rules to protect shippers.

“We’re lobbying very hard with the government,” he told a news conference after the fifth Asian Shippers’ Council annual meeting held in Colombo.

“This is now a good period in which to strengthen our case as the government is doing a lot of development in the shipping sector.”

John Lu, chairman of the Asian Shippers’ Council, said that despite the downturn in trade, shipping lines were trying to artificially jack up prices that would hurt the region’s export economies.

“Fair trade is important for export-oriented Asian economies in which shippers contribute significantly to national economic growth,” Lu said.

“If a cartel system is allowed to continue it means the cost of shipping your cargo or product will be artificially increased which will hurt the economies