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Settlement in COSCO and MCS Industries shipping dispute

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Home furniture supplier MCS Industries has settled with COSCO Shipping Lines (CSL) for a confidential sum following the July filing of a complaint unfair rate pricing and collusion.

A 10 September document released by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) recommended that the settlement be approved between the two parties.

MCS Industries filed a formal complaint against MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and CSL to the FMC on 28 July.

The Pennsylvania-based importer filed a complaint seeking $600,000 in damages, arguing that global shipping lines had “doubled down on policies and practices” to deliver unprecedented windfall profits by forcing shippers into an artificially inflated spot market.

In its findings the FMC wrote, “MCS and CSL, both sophisticated corporate entities, arrived at the Settlement Agreement through extensive, arm’s length negotiations that involved businesspeople and counsel on both sides, and CSL’s counsel has authorised the undersigned to represent that CSL supports this motion and the relief that it seeks.”

The Settlement Agreement is “intended to restore and reinforce” the long-standing business relationship between the parties, the FMC document added.

“As such, the Settlement Agreement is fair and reasonable, and reflects the parties’ desire to resolve their issues without the need for costly and uncertain litigation. For these reasons, MCS respectfully requests that the Settlement Agreement be approved and, on that basis, its claims against CSL in this action be dismissed, with prejudice.”

There is yet to be an agreement with MSC on the complaint.

Increasing shipping rates is currently one of the industry’s hottest topics and on 5 August the (FMC) has launched an expedited inquiry into the timing and legal sufficiency of ocean carrier practices with respect to certain surcharges as part of its investigation into the US maritime sector.

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