A shipper formerly known as Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (now known as 20230930-DK-Butterfly-1, Inc.), has filed a complaint with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) against MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA (MSC).
The complaint alleges that MSC, one of the world's largest container lines, violated the Shipping Act of 1984, resulting in financial harm to the complainant amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
MSC, a key member of the "2M alliance" alongside Maersk, stands accused of capitalizing on the price inflation within the container shipping industry during the unprecedented challenges brought by the pandemic. This alleged profiteering, as outlined in the complaint, purportedly burdened shippers like the Complainant with escalated freight costs, eventually forcing Complainant into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in April 2023.
One of the allegations raised by the shipper is that MSC failed to honor service commitments specified in their service contracts and reallocated space to higher-paying cargo, which forced Bed Bath & Beyond to resort to expensive spot market alternatives.
The complaint maintains that MSC's actions were deliberate and not due to operational constraints. It underscores MSC's reported significant profits, an acquisition spree during the pandemic, and substantial cash reserves, hinting at substantial financial gains for MSC during the crisis.
The filing seeks reparations for the damages allegedly incurred by MSC's violations of the Shipping Act.
AP Tariffs Inc. is a tariff publisher that serves both non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and vessel operating common carriers (VOCCs). AP Tariffs' experts also provide legal consultation particularly in maintaining compliance with FMC regulations.
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