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in partnership with

organising the SHIPPER FORUM 2003 
on 12 June 2003 in ANTWERP, Belgium

“Liner Shipping Conferences: 
Time for change – a change for the better”
Modern business practices for shippers and carriers in liner shipping  


It is time for a change.  A change that accepts the global and intricate nature of supply chains; a change that acknowledges current ways of conducting business and contracting shipping, distribution and logistics solutions that integrate with bigger, more important supply chain needs.  

We invite shippers, the liner shipping industry, European governments and their officials, competition lawyers and the European Commission to participate in an open, frank and investigative debate. The aims are to achieve mutual recognition and understanding of the implications of change:

  • to identify together what the changes are in global trade, supply chain management and business practices that require change from all involved in the logistics chain;

  • to discuss how the legal framework that governs business practice should be  changed.

The European Commission is conducting a review of the competition regulations governing liner shipping conferences. For over a decade shippers and shipping lines have been at logger-heads over the block exemption from competition rules that shipping lines enjoy.  Shippers say it makes business for them harder and more expensive; shipping lines say it creates stability in the global liner shipping market.  What are the facts? Where lies the truth?

This forum will divide into 2 parts:

Part A: 
With a lead given by EC Competition Commissioner, Mario Monti, the forum will explore the regulatory framework and its impacts - past, present and future.

Part B: 
The forum will examine the business to business environment, practices, contracts, trends and, importantly, the repercussions of these on the liner shipping industry.

Any change has to be for the better or else it is not worth the effort.  To achieve change for the better will take great efforts from all involved and affected.  It can only be right for this change-process to involve all the parties: the European Shippers’ Council commends this Forum as a major contribution to this aim.

We look forward to meeting you and debating these matters with you in Antwerp on 12 June 2003 

Secretary General
European Shippers' Council
Managing Director
Mare Forum






Geest North Sea Line B.V.