ESC Disapproves Shipping Surcharges

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 8, 2018

Pic: European Shippers' Council

Pic: European Shippers' Council

The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) disapproves of the mechanism of surcharges that shipping liners launch to cover the higher rate of lower sulphur fuel. Shippers call for a dialogue with container liners to find the best mechanism to share the costs.

A new bunker adjustment factor launched by Maersk aims at covering additional costs that will arise from the upcoming global sulphur regulations. Carriers impose it unilaterally without any negotiation with shippers and ignore a market approach to the global problem.

MSC and CMA CGM have recently announced plans that follow the same direction. This does not set an ideal cooperation scenario.

The ESC has made a clear request to shipping liners to sit together and discuss all freight costs and to come to a mutual agreement

"ESC is monitoring, through its National Councils, all current actions related to bunker surcharges and their consequences in the operational field. ESC encourages shipping liners to negotiate all freight costs with shippers to come to an agreement satisfying both sides," said a release from ESC.

"Within the new commercial framework of logistics stakeholders, the imposition of bunker surcharges restrains cooperation and lacks transparency. What is most important, it decreases potential innovative solutions and results in a low acceptance by shippers. However, ESC believes that a dialogue is indispensable in reaching a mutually satisfying agreement," it added.

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