SHIPPING Australia has welcomed the news that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is carrying out an investigation into anti-competitive conduct in the container transport industry.
SAL CEO Melwyn Noronha said, “We welcome the investigation, as it will show that the current issues are caused by normal market mechanisms and bottlenecks in the supply chain”.
“We anticipate that a decrease in demand for, and a surge in the supply of, containerised transport will likely alleviate market conditions,” Mr Noronha said.
In a statement, the industry association said, “As far as we are aware, and to the best of our knowledge and belief each ocean container shipping company makes its commercial decisions individually and in line with free-market principles”.
SAL acknowledged that there had been an increase in the cost of containerised freight in recent months.
“The increase has happened because of normal and well understood market mechanisms,” the statement reads.
“However, there are other supply-chain related issues that need to be examined.”
SAL said the current market environment was created by the external shock that is the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is no need for government or regulatory intervention in the free-market shipping industries,” the statement reads.
“However, port congestion and related landside supply issues need to be tackled – either by ports or by regulators.”