South African authorities raided six container shipping companies on September 28, 2016 on suspicion of colluding to inflate rates, Reuters reported.
The country’s Competition Commission said in a statement that shipping rates between Asia and South Africa could have been inflated after collusion between six companies; Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), French CMA CGM Shipping, Germany's Hamburg Sud, Singaporean Pacific International Line, Maersk subsidiary Safmarine, as well as a local Maersk subsidiary.
Tembinkosi Bonakele, Competition Commissioner for South Africa said: “Any cartel by shipping liners in this region results in inflated prices for cargo transportation,
“Such cartels have the effect of significantly derailing the economic growth of the region.”
The operation raided the premises of all six companies, following a tip-off from a member of the public, and saw documents and data seized.
The news comes amid tough market conditions that saw the collapse of Hanjin Shipping last month, and after the EU Commission completed an investigation in February, 2016 into price-fixing between the top 15 shipping companies globally.