Lines must pull together
THE Pacific is quite different from other container trade lanes. First, most cargo is moved under 12-month contracts that are renewed on May 1, a legacy of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act that came into effect on that day in 1998. Second, the US import trades are dominated by a few very powerful shippers, led by Wal-Mart, that can wield far more clout than any of their European counterparts.
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