SHIPPING: Victory for the Sea Wolf

Among U.S. shippers, the Isbrandtsen Steamship Line is a lone sea wolf. The biggest independent line operator in the world, Isbrandtsen has fought governments around the globe in the name of freedom of the seas, has battled fellow shippers to establish free rates. Last week, after a ten-year battle, Isbrandtsen recorded the most important victory in its log book. Ruling in Isbrandtsen's favor, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the rate-setting practices of the international shipping conferences—voluntary groups of U.S. and foreign lines—thus opening the way for a flurry of price-cutting.

About half the 112 freight shipping conferences operating in...

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