liner service

Liner service consists of regularly scheduled shipping operations on fixed routes. Cargoes are accepted under a bill-of-lading contract issued by the ship operator to the shipper.

Competition in liner service is regulated generally by agreements, known as conferences, among the shipowners. These conferences stabilize conditions of competition and set passenger fares or freight rates for all members of the conferences. In the U.S., steamship conferences are supervised by the Federal Maritime Commission in accordance with the Shipping Act of 1916. Rate changes, modifications of agreements, and other joint activities must be approved by the commission before they are effective. Measures designed to eliminate or prevent competition are prohibited by law.