While the surging rates represent a profit bonanza for container lines including Copenhagen-based A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and China’s Cosco Shipping Holdings Co., they’re making it more difficult for importers to absorb higher costs. Some are raising retail prices, adding to inflationary pressures that
worry central banks, while Covid-related supply bottlenecks are also holding back economic activity.
The push against consolidation is part of a forthcoming executive order on competition that President Joe Biden is expected to sign in the coming days. Other elements of the action are expected to include new rules governing airline fees, non-compete clauses, right-to-repair, and food labeling. In recent weeks, senior Transportation Department officials have been meeting with port officials, shipping industry players and retailers to try to address port congestion and long-term infrastructure challenges.
There is not a lot the US government can do about rising shipping costs. It does not manufacture ships and the majority shipping companies are domiciled outside of their waters. Imposing regulations on the global sector will divert ships away from the USA and increase costs so it is much more likely that any measures introduced will focus on domestic considerations.Click HERE to subscribe to Fuller Treacy Money Back to top