South Korean government again talks with shipping companies: request to avoid port jump
With trans-pacific freight rates at unusually high levels and shippers struggling to find a place on crowded cargo ships, the South Korean government has stepped in, demanding carriers not skip South Korean ports in favor of neighboring China.
The meeting was held recently by the Transport Association of The Ministry of Marine And Marine Products and the Korean Shipowners' Association. Nine companies were called: HMM, SM Line, Korea Marine Transport, Sinokor Merchant Marine, Maersk Line, MSC, CMA CGM, Yang Ming and Cosco.Any unfair breaches or unilateral changes to contract terms will be reviewed and punished to maintain market order, the ministry said.
Andy Lane of CTI Consultancy, a Container-consultancy in Singapore, says that "if a carrier has a contract with a consigner that includes certain conditions of service, it should naturally comply with them.Otherwise, there's nothing wrong with skipping ports or shutting down just to optimize returns."
This is the second time this year that the South Korean government has intervened to express concern about the environment of soaring trans-Pacific freight rates.Us and Chinese authorities are also closely monitoring the situation and have met with representatives of shipping companies.