US shipper complaint filed with FMC against Yang Ming settled out of court

Date: Friday, August 26, 2022
Source: Splash 24/7

A complaint filed in March 2022 with the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) by Achim Importing Company, a home furnishings company based in New Jersey, against Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation has been settled out of court.

Details of the settlement will not be made public, as agreed by the two parties. The FMC has approved the agreement and dismissed the proceeding with prejudice.

The FMC’s verified complaint document indicated that Achim was seeking “reparations for injuries … caused by Respondent’s [Yang Ming’s] violations of the Shipping Act.” It said Yang Ming had, in Achim’s opinion, “taken advantage of price inflation in container shipping during the COVID-19 pandemic and unjustly and unreasonably exploited customers, vastly increasing its profitability at the expense of shippers and the U.S. public generally.”

The complaint continued: “Instead of honoring the pricing and minimum quantity commitments in its service contract with Complainant, Respondent began a practice of systematically favoring other shippers, including spot market purchasers willing to pay high rates, over Complainant. As a result, Complainant had to obtain space on the spot market at enormous expense.”

In May 2020, Yang Ming and Achim signed a one-year contract that provided Achim a minimum of 200 teu on Yang Ming vessels. According to Achim, however, Yang Ming made available only 31 teu in the contract term. Per the complaint document, “As a result of Respondent’s 169-TEU shortfall, Complainant had to seek carriage from other sources at higher rates, or else forgo shipments entirely. Complainant had to spend at least $1,325,962 more than the contracted prices to ship 169 TEUs on the spot market to make up for Respondent’s 169-TEU shortfall.”

This is not the only complaint filed with the FMC against Yang Ming. In June, MSRF, a gourmet food producer in Illinois, alleged that Yang Ming and HMM colluded, broke contracts and manipulated prices.

That proceeding was dismissed in July when MSRF agreed with HMM and Yang Ming to instead file separate complaints against the two carriers.


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