A shipping conference, also known as a liner conference, is an association of several shipping companies that follow certain terms and then provide services. It is an arrangement between two or more than two shipping lines to provide regular service on certain trade routes at uniform freight rates and common business terms. Shipping lines that are not members of a conference for a particular route are known as outsiders, independent lines, or non-conference lines. Also called a steamship conference.
A shipping conference, Shipping conferences members may agree on such matters as price fixing, total industry output, market shares, allocation of customers, and the division of profits or combination of those.
Shipping conferences are represented for every member's benefit based on free trade, with the following functions: