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Dive Brief

A.P. Møller MaerskCMA CGM Group, and Hapag-Lloyd have been asked to provide documents and information to explain the reasoning behind increased shipping rates over the past two years, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Friday.

– The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis and the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy sent the letter asking the carriers to provide requested documents and information by March 16.

– Each letter states that the committees are concerned the carriers in question “may have engaged in predatory business practices during the pandemic, making scores of essential goods more expensive for consumers and small businesses.”

Dive Insight

Ocean carriers are under scrutiny — again. News on the investigation comes just a few days after President Joe Biden called out carriers on the increase in ocean freight rates and questioned the amount of competitiveness in the industry.

Congress has also expressed concern on rising ocean freight costs. Ocean rates have climbed up to $16,155 per forty-foot equivalent unit from Asia to U.S. West Coast and $18,250 from Asia to U.S. East Coast. That is 204% higher than the same week last year for the West Coast and and 218% from the East Coast, according to a weekly email update from Freightos on Thursday…

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