Busan gives carriers year off from port usage fees
The Busan Port Authority has taken a radical step to assist its troubled liner carrier customers by offering to let them defer port fees for one year from Nov. 1.
The plan, announced Thursday, is designed to give a cushion to battered lines by alleviating the need to pay port entry, berthing and anchorage fees until Nov. 1, 2010. After that, the lines can pay the owed fees in monthly installments.
'As a result of an extended period of economic crisis, shipping lines have endured unsustainably low freight rates, heavily decreased cargo volumes, and now cash flow problems,' the port authority said. 'At a time when borrowing from financial institutions is becoming more and more difficult, the BPA is stepping up to help the lines to offset their problems.'
Busan, the world's fifth-busiest port, has seen cargo volume drop 16.8 percent through August to 7.6 million TEUs, including a 19.9 percent drop in import/export cargo, to 4.2 million TEUs. Transshipment cargo has fallen more gradually, by 12.8 percent, to 3.4 million TEUs.
That volume drop is largely in line with declines in Asia's other biggest ports.