Shipping container carriers are taking matters into their own hands after freight rates on three major East-West trade routes hit record highs, with several expected to follow European operators committing to voluntary rate caps, according to IntraFish sister publication TradeWinds.

The news could spell some relief for the seafood industry, which is among many sectors struggling to deal with a shortage of shipping containers that has driven up freight costs massively for US and European importers.

France's CMA CGM set the ball rolling by saying it would impose a freeze on spot rates in the coming months, and German rival Hapag-Lloyd confirmed it had implemented similar measures in a freight market where “prices have just gone too high."