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U-Freight welcomes latest decision on container shipping rules

As a leading provider of ocean freight forwarding services, we welcome the news that the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will not recommend to the Secretary of State for Business and Trade that the current Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER) be replaced by a UK equivalent when it expires on 25 April 2024.The CMA conducted a robust analysis of the deep sea container shipping market, investigating several scenarios, and concluded in November 2023 that the conditions did not warrant the continued existence of a CBER for UK maritime movements – the same view had already been reached by the European Commission, in October last year, which UFL also welcomed.Second opinions were invited by the CMA, and it has now upheld its original decision concluding that self-assessment is the best and most effective way for shipping lines to co-operate.Whilst this regulatory change, if implemented, will not end shipping line consortia and alliances, it will allow greater and ongoing scrutiny of such arrangements; and ensure that the lines will be subject fully to competition law.The U-Freight Group realises that shipping lines are essential parties in the global supply chain and hopes that this decision will create a suitable balance between shipping lines and their customers, leading to the creation of a long term, stable and successful deep sea container market that is in the best interest of all who are engaged in international trade.For more information about the U-Freight Group's global freight forwarding and logistics services, please visit the relevant pages of this website or contact your local office, details of which can be seen here: