The Global Shippers Forum (GSF) has joined forces with the Baltic International Maritime Council Organisation (BIMCO) to launch the BIMCO/GSF SERVICECON container shipping contract.
GSF is a NGO inaugurated in the UK four years ago but which represents international shipping organisations around the globe, and BIMCO is also an NGO which includes thousands of shipowners and operators worldwide in its membership.
The contract details were announced at the 2015 Containerisation International Conference in Hamburg on April 22 and provide the world’s first standardised contract terms and conditions for use in container shipping markets worldwide.
The Standard Container Contract is the result of discussions between GSF and BIMCO over a two year period between shipper and carrier representatives in a joint working group and the GSF has also provided clause by clause analysis of the terms and conditions and legal guidance on the standard terms and conditions.
The contract was originally envisaged as an aid for the smaller box shipper but the GSF believes that it will be useful for many larger shippers too, especially those with cargo shipments outside of the scope of the individualised contracts.
GSF Secretary-General Chris Welsh said
: “Many large multi-national shippers have developed their own bespoke contractual arrangements, until now no contract has been available to meet the needs of small and medium sized shippers."
"GSF is delighted to have joined forces with BIMCO in creating the world’s first Standard Container Contract. Container shipping is characterised by a small number of very large shippers with high shipment demands, many of whom have individualised service contract arrangements, but the majority of small to medium sized shippers whose transportation needs range
from relatively modest cargo movements to significant numbers of containers haven’t been able to negotiate firm contractual agreements, until now,” he added.