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Shippers are bewildered by inconsistency of IMO 2020 surcharges

SHIPPERS are up in arms that low sulphur IMO 2020 fuel surcharges introduced by shipping lines vary so widely

23 December 2019 - 19:06

SHIPPERS are up in arms that low sulphur IMO 2020 fuel surcharges introduced by shipping lines vary so widely.

Container lines are acting with 'opacity,' using 'hidden formulas and no data backup' to calculate surcharges which they are using as an 'opportunity to recover from low freight rates,' according to European Shippers' Council maritime policy manager Jordi Espin.



The surcharges have been introduced as carriers seek to recoup from customers the estimated US$11 billion bill in higher fuel costs due next year thanks to IMO 2020 that caps sulphur content in marine fuel to 0.5 per cent.



Mr Espin argues that the International Maritime Organisation's fuel surcharges should trigger different, transparent charges for each customer based on the tailor-made services each receives.



'What it is not acceptable is that, once more, customers have to adapt to shipping lines' requirements,' he told New York's FrieghtWaves.



'Customers receive a warning notice about newer and higher costs but that doesn't explain why the same service from the same alliance delivers different charges.



'There is no explanation why the shipping industry is behaving like this and why this new opportunity to build trust is again lost.



'This behaviour may be legal, but it is not ethical and does not comply with a healthy code of conduct where partners with shared objectives and goals play on a common playing field.'


WORLD SHIPPING

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