180,000 containers “refused to carry” U.S. agricultural products back to China under investigation

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has launched an investigation to determine whether shipping companies have violated the law.

Photo shows the port of Los Angeles, California

The U.S. financial website CNBC reported on Tuesday (26) that shipping companies refused to carry hundreds of millions of dollars worth of U.S. agricultural exports between October and November last year during the peak season, preferring instead to rush back to Chinese ports with empty containers to load more profitable Chinese exports.

The FMC then launched an investigation, reviewing information from several key ports in California, New York and New Jersey to see if the carriers’ refusals violated the Shipping Act. The Act makes it illegal to unreasonably refuse business or refuse to negotiate business.

CNBC pointed out that although the U.S. agricultural products are exported throughout the year, but every year from November to March of the next year is the most important export period, because this Time a large number of agricultural products have been harvested. In mid-October last year, shipping companies informed agricultural exporters, said to give priority to empty export containers and do not want to load the export of agricultural products, but also said that if you want to transport agricultural products, freight costs to increase.

According to CNBC’s survey and analysis of information from the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York and New Jersey, it is estimated that as many as 178,000 containers (TEU, 20-foot standard container, a unit of calculation for container shipments) were rejected in October and November of last year. to estimate the value of agricultural products affected.