Competition authority to consider maritime service price complaints

Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Rachid Mohamed Rachid has referred recent complaints of price increases imposed by maritime services companies to the ُEgyptian Competition Authority.

The complaints were submitted by the Federation of Egyptian Industries, which cited price increases by shipping companies and maritime proxies that exceed the average of service costs at other Mediterranean seaports.

Rachid instructed the competition authority to study the status of the companies working in the sector in order to track any activities violating competition rules.

The maritime chambers of Damietta, Alexandria, Port Said and Suez will hold a meeting to discuss the the crisis.

Rachid stressed that rising prices for shipping and maritime services will result in increases in the prices of Egyptian exports to foreign markets, damaging their competitiveness and upping the value of imported goods, which will in turn affect Egyptian consumers. Rachid emphasized his ministry’s concern to improve the efficiency of the maritime transport sector, saying that it forms one of the linchpins of plans to double exports.

Ali Essa, head of the exporters sector at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, held the Ministry of Transport responsible for the recent hikes, saying that it has abdicated its duty as a medium between service providers and customers. According to Essa, Egyptian companies have been raising their prices at a time when other ports on the Mediterranean have been lowering them.

Mohamed Moselhy, head of the maritime chamber in Alexandria, denied any monopolizing practices on the part of maritine companies. All the 325 firms working in the city’s seaport are members of the chamber, said Moselhy, while service tariffs differ from one port to the other, and even between the different branches within any one company.

Ahmed Mansour el-Araby, manager of the Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling Company, said that maritime service companies have the right to determine their quotes just as customers have the right to opt for the company they wish to deal with. El-Araby said his company has not adopted any price increases.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Related Articles

Back to top button