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TAA takes its case to the court of public opinion.
"We ain't gonna crumble because we can't afford to crumble."
That's how Trans-Atlantic Agreement chairman Olav K. Rakkenes recently answered critics who claim the 11-carrier pricing and capacity control pact is acting irresponsibly and should disband.
Rakkenes spoke out at a press briefing held in Amsterdam on Jan. 21 following weeks in which shippers and their representatives on both sides of the Atlantic publicly pummeled TAA.
The criticism came to a crescendo when the British and French shippers' councils, citing dire circumstances caused by TAA's Jan. 1 rate increases, petitioned the European Commission's competition directorate to enjoin TAA from operating until its legal status could be permanently sorted out.
The shipper council claims are false, said Rakkenes, who is chairman of one of TAA's founding members, Atlantic Container Line. As of late January, TAA had renewed 320 of the 400 service contracts it had sent out for renewal. The remaining 80 were …