FBI raids Box Club in antitrust investigation

The FBI last week entered a meeting of the Box Club (formerly the International Council of Containership Operators) and issued some of the world’s leading containerlines with subpoenas relating to an antitrust investigation, reports the Wall Street Journal. Maersk Line, Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL were all handed subpoenas.
At the beginning of next month THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance formally launch. In addition, HMM is linking up with the 2M alliance.
The Federal Maritime Commission in the US is concerned that container shipping alliances have risen from less than half of containership capacity 20 years ago to approaching 90% by 2018.
Maersk Line confirmed that it had received a subpoena, but noted that “the subpoena does not set out any specific allegations against Maersk Line” and that the company would cooperate fully with the authorities in their investigations. Hapag-Lloyd also confirmed that it had been given a subpoena by the Justice Department. An OOCL spokesman in Hong Kong said that “OOCL has received a subpoena from the Department of Justice Antitrust Division calling for the production of documents. OOCL intends to comply fully with the subpoena”.