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ESC wants to minimise 'unacceptable' congestion surcharges

THE European Shippers Council (ESC) claims that it is unacceptable to lay the cost burden of congestion on businesses and has urged shipowners to minimise surcharges and bring all costs into a "single negotiable freight rate wherever possible."

ESC wants to minimise 'unacceptable' congestion surcharges
16 November 2014 - 23:54
ESC wants to minimise 'unacceptable' congestion surcharges

THE European Shippers Council (ESC) claims that it is unacceptable to lay the cost burden of congestion on businesses and has urged shipowners to minimise surcharges and bring all costs into a "single negotiable freight rate wherever possible."

Such action "would provide more transparency and predictability to the partnership with the customer," said the ESC, which represents freight transport interests on the continent. "Additional surcharge tends to be 'fixed' and not to fluctuate on a large scale over time."

Congestion surcharges have been implemented at ports throughout the world in recent months, including in the Philippines, India, the US and Hong Kong, according to Lloyd's List.

"According to operators this mechanism is 'unnecessary' due to the new organisation of the shipowner through alliances, vessel sharing agreements, slot exchanges and other means of rationalisation," said the ESC. 

"These new forms of organisation have been presented, including to competition authorities, to improve the service quality offered to customers. Not to increase revenues by creating new surcharges."

The ESC added that it wants shipowners to limit the impact of these new organisation models by solving problems rather than imposing surcharges on shippers.

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