LoadStar - Australian shippers cry foul as lines pressure forwarders to divulge client data

Tuesday, July 20, 2021
SOURCE: https://theloadstar.com/australian-shippers-cry-foul-as-lines-pressure-forwarders-to-divulge-client-data/


Paul Zalai, director and co-founder of the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA), a member of the Australian Peak Shippers Association secretariat and a director of the Global Shippers' Forum (GSF) believes the threat from the carriers is real.

"Clearly there is a threat faced by all in the Australian supply chain, with an increased trend in vertical integration by shipping lines, stevedores and the like. While disruption to international trade logistics is inevitable, our increased focus will be to ensure all activity is conducted in compliance with Australian law."

The Loadstar contacted the ACCC whose spokesperson said the commission was unable to comment on specific businesses or industries. However, it is responsible for investigating the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The ACCC added that businesses were generally entitled to set the terms on which they supply goods or services, including as part of a tied or bundled arrangement.

"However, in limited circumstances, this may breach competition law, particularly if such an arrangement is done by a firm with substantial market power and that conduct materially damages the competitive process."

The FTA's Mr Zalai said the organisation would escalate the issue by calling for "an independent federal government review of international shipping practices and the introduction of a maritime regulator to oversee reform".

That comes in parallel with the FTA submission to the Productivity Commission's Inquiry on Vulnerable Supply Chains.

"Australia has world-class manufacturers and producers supported by skilled customs brokers and freight forwarders and are ready to take advantage of the opportunities created by free trade agreements and those economies recovering from Covid-19. A level playing ground is required to ensure all in the supply chain can compete and continue to efficiently service Australian trade," added Mr Zalai.