The start of a cooperation scheme, involving 350 European Union (EU) containerships, will be delayed by an EU competition investigation, which was initiated by Germany.
The EU Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said that it had opened an investigation into anti-competitive business practices by Baltic Max Feeder, in which shipowners were expected to share the cost of laying up idle vessels.
The scheme, that was planned to start early this year, involved small-size ships carrying up to 1,400-TEU in shipping, or feedering, between large deepsea ports and smaller harbours.
Under the scheme, there were supposed to be 120 million euros of bank loans and 60 million euros in contributions from shipping companies.
This was to have been used to pay 1,500 euros a day plus bank interest to owners for laying up ships.
The EU Commission feared that this scheme may be have been aimed at reducing shipping market capacity and pushing up charter prices, Exim News Service reports.