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Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 20498, tabled on 22 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has made of trends in the level of costs for UK Importers; and what steps her Department is taking to help prevent price fixing in the global container shipping industry.

Answered on

29 June 2021

Container shipping costs are currently high, driven by increased demand as a result of a change in pandemic consumer spending. The levels of demand have meant that port and shipping container capacity has been stretched globally.

The Department for Transport has engaged closely with both ports and shipping lines to monitor the operational impacts, and make sure industry is doing all it can to mitigate impacts on the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has robust competition laws, and the Competition and Markets Authority has discretion to investigate competition cases which, according to its own prioritisation principles, it considers most appropriate.