Maersk has been subpoenaed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of what the carrier described as an “ongoing investigation into supply chain disruption,” learned Tuesday.

“We can confirm we have received a subpoena from the US Dept. of Justice with respect to the ongoing investigation into supply chain disruption,” stated Maersk in a statement sent to Tuesday. The media statement was prepared Feb. 18. “We have not seen evidence of any actual or alleged wrongdoing on the part of Maersk and will continue to cooperate with the US Dept. of Justice as they continue their investigation.”

Interestingly, Maersk’s statement is dated the same day an international group of competition authorities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand announced they were forming a working group to investigate and potentially prosecute suspected anticompetitive behavior and collusion within global supply chains. 

Another container line is believed to have also received a subpoena from the DOJ as part of the investigation, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The exact nature of the probe is unknown. A spokesperson for the Justice Department was not immediately available for comment.

The existence of the investigation confirms the DOJ’s renewed attention on the container shipping sector, after the agency in 2019 dropped a prior multiyear investigation into ocean carriers. The latest probe comes amid increased pressure from the Biden Administration to more closely monitor container line pricing activities in the wake of historic rate levels on trades to and from the US over the last year. That pressure includes pending legislation in both houses of Congress, including one bill meant to curtail antitrust immunity for carriers.

In late February, the DOJ announced it would be working more closely with the US Federal Maritime Commission to allow maritime regulators to tap antitrust experts amid increased global monitoring of competition in container shipping.

Contact Eric Johnson at and follow him on Twitter: @LogTechEric.