Date Added: 24th October 2012 from ExportNZ
ExportNZ is concerned that the various shipping lines have all announced a “rate restoration” increase in the cost of Reefer Containers by $US 750 a 20’ reefer and $US 1500 for a 40’ reefer.
Not only are these significant price increases, (one small exporter tells us it will add an additional $100,000 to their transport costs) but the fact there is uniformity in the price increases from all the lines for ships going from New Zealand to Asia is of concern.If this was a competitive market we would not expect to see Shipping Lines all increasing the cost of containers by identical amounts, at the same time and using similar language in communicating this to their customers.
ExportNZ is supportive of the recent recommendation made by the Productivity Commission in its inquiry into International Freight Transport that automatic exemption from the Commerce Act for conference agreements should be abolished.We accept that the Shipping Lines need to work cooperatively on non-rate making agreements in order to facilitate reliable provision of container services; but we would like to see more transparency and scrutiny over any agreements around the setting of rates. We would like the scrutiny to determine that any public benefits of agreements outweigh any public detriments.
The competitive provision of all transport services is important to New Zealand exporters given our distance from our markets. We can only be sure we are getting the best prices when competition is allowed to flourish.The airline industry has become adept at code sharing on routes while still maintaining competitive pricing and we don’t see why the Shipping industry should behave any differently.
Executive Director, ExportNZ