An Illinois shipper is suing Yang Ming and HMM for failing to meet contractual obligations and colluding to benefit from the breach of contracts.
According to the claim alleges, the two carriers have benefited by around $2.2m, with the amount still accruing as the lines continue to gain from what shipper MSRF Inc considers illegal practices.
MSRF filed a complaint with the FMC on 8 June, claiming that it had agreed contracts for the 2021 shipping year with the alliance partners that gave them 100 feu space on Yang Ming services and 25 feu on HMM vessels. However, MSRF said that Yang Ming offered just 4% of the allotted space and HMM carried only nine of the company’s boxes.
The shipper also alleges that it was forced to resort to the spot market to find a carrier for its cargo, or not to send its freight at all.
In its evidence to the FMC, MSRF claims that the shipping lines have disrupted a previously “stable and well-established” market structure that delivered reliable service contracts in advance of the booking process.
As a result, MSRF alleges that it is compelled to “agree in advance to exorbitant rates for whatever portion of its needed capacity global ocean carriers are willing to cover with service contracts.”
These collusive ocean alliances give respondents the incentive and opportunity to co-ordinate discriminatory practices, such as those alleged herein, so as to violate contracts with shippers like MSRF in favour of exploiting profit opportunities on the spot market
the complaint says.
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