US Shipper Sues Container Lines Over Alleged Exploitation in Surging Freight Market

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday August 2, 2021

US-based furniture company MCS Industries is suing two global container lines over alleged exploitation in the recent abnormal surges in spot freight rates.

The company filed a lawsuit with the Federal Maritime Commission on July 28 claiming violations of the 1984 US Shipping Act, container industry news provider The Loadstar reported on Sunday. 

The firm is suing Cosco and MSC for $600,000, arguing they have 'unjustly and unreasonably exploited customers' and manipulated the spot container freight market.

The spot container rate from China to the US West Coast has surged from about $2,700 in 2019 to more than $15,000 now, The Loadstar cited MCS as saying.

Shippers all around the world have been hit by surging freight costs in recent months with strong import demand in the US, lockdown measures in Asia Pacific slowing down port operations there and several other events such as the Suez Canal blockage earlier this year adding to disruption.

Companies shipping particularly bulky items for relatively low profit margins, such as furniture retailers, have seen the biggest impact from the increase in freight rates.