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20 Carriers Investigated for Allegedly Manipulating Rates

Views: 3     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-04-08      Origin: Site

It has issued a total of 96.2 billion won to 12 well-known liner giants including HMM, Koryo Shipping, Changjin Merchant Shipping, Xingya Shipping, and Senro Merchant Shipping, including 11 foreign merchant shipping companies such as Maersk and Evergreen. A total of 23 large shipping companies Following the fines, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has once again investigated 20 local and overseas liner operators for allegedly colluding to manipulate freight rates on routes from South Korea to China and Japan.

The investigation comes just two months after the carriers were slapped with an $81 million collective fine for rigging South Korea-Southeast Asia shipping rates.

It is understood that the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has sent a review report to the relevant liner operators, saying it is investigating allegations that they manipulated freight rates on the Korea-China and Korea-Japan routes for 17 years. The operators involved include South Korean operators such as Korea Shipping Company (KMTC Line) and Sinokor and its subsidiary Heung-A Line, 10 Chinese container shipping companies and one Japanese liner operator.

Shipping companies allegedly failed to report collusive and unilateral increases in freight rates to the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries as required by South Korea's Shipping Act.

20 Carriers Investigated for Allegedly Manipulating Rates_2


Previous versions of the bill did not expressly include an exemption from the Fair Trading Act. Even so, the KFTC ruled that such conduct must be reported to the minister within 30 days and must be discussed with shippers, as mentioned in its decision to punish liner operators for rigging rates on the Korea-Southeast Asia route.


After receiving feedback from shipping lines on the review report, the KFTC will meet on April 27-28 to determine any action. Industry watchers predict that any fines will be similar or less than those in the case on the Korea-Southeast Asia route because of the lower volumes of cargo involved.


Even so, the $81 million fine was controversial and sparked protests from the ministry and South Korean shipping agencies, with more protests expected if new fines are issued.


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