Argos is suing container shipping company AP Moller-Maersk for more than $13m (£8.4m) over accusations it reneged on a contract.

The Home Retail Group-owned chain claims that Maersk reneged on a contract to ship 5,000, 40ft containers from the Far East to the UK in both 2010 and 2011; and for attempting to impose a three-fold price increase in January.

According to The Independent On Sunday, the retailer has filed documents to the High Court claiming that the Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, “wrongfully repudiated and/or renounced the contract…[Argos] had to find another shipping line in order to ship containers from the Far East to the UK. [Argos] duly obtained alternative space to protection for a period of two years from Kuehne & Nagel. Accordingly, aggregate losses are $13,877,660.”

The legal document adds that Maersk announced in January it would no longer provide space protection for Argos on containers in South Asia at $930 (£603) per container and was “unilaterally” raising the price to $2,730 (£1,800) per container.

In a statement at the time Maersk said: “The rate increase is necessary to continue to operate our services with high levels of reliability our customers have come to expect from the Maersk line.”

It is not clear which products were affected by the dispute or if it caused any shortages in stores.