Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Freight Forwarders Demand Clearer Explanation for Miscellaneous Surcharges from Container Carriers

Extra Costs for Port Congestion and Haulage Problems are Shipping Lines Responsibility says FIATA
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Surcharges have long been the bête noir of the shipping industry, not only do the extra costs ensure freight forwarding agents often have to explain unexpected increases to customers but in the past few years connivance between carriers has led to a slew of antitrust and class action cases costing billions. Now FIATA, the international trade association that represents the world’s freight forwarders and logistics service providers, says it is time for the world’s container shipping lines to provide greater clarity on the ever increasing variety of surcharges that they apply.

“In the past, we have seen Administration Fees, Peak Season Surcharges, or ISPS-add on surcharges. Of late, we have had examples of container cleaning fees and container sealing fees, without any evidence of the expense actually being incurred.

“There have also been recent examples of port congestion surcharges caused by labour unrest; and haulage surcharges resulting from HGV driver shortages, which is difficult to understand as there is no explanation and little justification for an additional charge for a service that the container line is finding difficult to provide. It is time for freight forwarders to stop accepting at face value opaque and unjustified surcharges.”