Container Line MSC 'Does Not Recognise' Allegations in Shipper's Lawsuit

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday August 5, 2021

Container line MSC has responded to the lawsuit filed against it by a furniture company in the US, saying it does not recognise the allegations made in it.

It was reported earlier this week that MCS Industries had filed a lawsuit with the Federal Maritime Commission late last month claiming violations of the 1984 US Shipping Act, and was suing Cosco and MSC for $600,000, arguing they have 'unjustly and unreasonably exploited customers' and manipulated the spot container freight market.

"MSC received no formal complaint by MCS Industries in advance of the filing, or in relation to the subsequent accusations made in the media, many of which remain vague and unsubstantiated and are incorrectly targeted at MSC," MSC said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

"While MSC is still studying some of the contents of this particular complaint, the company does not recognise the alleged shortcomings in booking the cargo allocations provided for this shipper.

"Furthermore, MSC is not illegitimately selling space allotted to MCS Industries under its service contracts to other shippers.

"MSC also rejects the accusation of collusion between carriers put forward in the complaint.

"MSC and the shipping line COSCO are not in the same container-carrying alliance and as such have no operational cooperation by way of Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) or Slot Charter Agreement (SCA) anywhere in the world."

Container freight rates have surged over the past two years, leaving shippers with much larger transportation bills than expected at a time of economic uncertainty. The Federal Maritime Commission has said it is investigating the issue.