ATLANTA — Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock urged President Joe Biden to hold global shipping carriers accountable for corporate greed, apparent price gouging and raising costs on Georgia families in a letter on Monday.
In a press release, Warnock said there was ample evidence that global shipping carriers have used market volatility, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, to increase profits and pad their earnings.
In the letter, the U.S. senator requested that the White House’s Supply Chain Disruption Task Force investigate the apparent price gouging of ocean carriers who Warnock said have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to increase profit margins.
"I am requesting they investigate and issue a report on the effects that the business practices of international cargo carriers have had on American small businesses and families, including carriers increasing spot prices in shipping rates," wrote Warnock.
This is one of the several efforts made by Warnock to ease supply chain issues.
On Tuesday Warnock held a press conference going over his letter to Biden and asked him to hold international ocean carriers accountable.
"The truth is, the business practices of a few greedy companies with an outsize influence on our economy cannot be ignored for the role that they are playing in pushing up costs for everyday consumers," said Warnock.
Warnock acknowledges that some price increase has been caused by the pandemic.
"Now, some of these price increases are because of supply chain disruption caused by the pandemic but while that's true, these rising costs are also being caused by corporate greed, greed we cannot ignore," said Warnock.
In his letter, Warnock said the following support his claims.
"As recently reported by Bloomberg, global carriers have never been more profitable. In the second quarter of 2020, soon after the COVID-19 emergency declaration, global carriers made a profit of $2.2 billion. In the third quarter of 2021, the most recent data available, their profit rose to $48.1 billion – an increase of more than 2,000%. Last year, Maersk reported its most profitable quarter in the 117-year history of the company, and instead of cutting prices and passing saving on to consumers and small businesses, the company is extending share buybacks to return billions of dollars in profits taken from everyday Americans to their wealthy investors."
To read the full letter to President Biden click here.