• ITVI.USA
    15,536.540
    74.080
    0.5%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.754
    0.002
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.490
    -0.180
    -0.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,507.170
    69.970
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,536.540
    74.080
    0.5%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.754
    0.002
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.490
    -0.180
    -0.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,507.170
    69.970
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

Ebola dents West Africa shipping services

Deadly Ebola disease results in changed port rotations and additional charges for West Africa shippers.

   Shipping companies calling West African ports are taking precautions against the deadly Ebola virus disease outbreak.
   Carriers are skipping some ports and elsewhere ships are facing delays due to government efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
   In some cases, these carriers are passing increased costs onto their shippers.
   As of Aug. 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the total number of probable and confirmed Ebola cases, as reported by health ministries in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, at 3,069, with 1,552 deaths.
   Maersk Line said Monday ships calling the region have over the past couple of weeks faced increasing health and safety measures. “In order to adhere to the stricter measures put in place Maersk Line has reviewed the coverage of the region,” the carrier said.
   “We have been able to carry out the changes with only smaller impact on transit times, however, it will enable Maersk Line to provide a continued effective and reliable port coverage, whilst at the same time ensuring compliance with local and international health measures,” the carrier said.
   It added “the situation is very dynamic and we will therefore continue to closely monitor developments.”
   The world’s largest container carrier said it “remains committed to serve our customers in the West Africa region” and “will also assist to reduce a potential negative impact on the affected economies, as well as assist in supporting local and international relief efforts.” 
   Maersk has changed the rotation of its WAF 1, WAF 2, WAF 6 WAF 7 and WAF 13 services calling the West Africa region.
   Last month Maersk Line Ltd., the Danish company’s U.S.-flag unit, said ships that had visited countries with Ebola cases were not being allowed to berth, required to spend 21-day incubation periods since calling Ebola-affected countries, and undergo sanitary inspections before calling.
   Other shipping companies are taking similar precautions because of the disease.
   CMA CGM said in a statement to American Shipper that it “has initiated a prevention plan to preserve its partners and its activities from the Ebola virus.
   “Since mid-March, strict rules have been set and hygiene equipment has been distributed to shore-based personnel and to crew members. CMA CGM Group strongly recommends its personnel to respect elementary hygienic and prevention measures,” the French carrier said.
   CMA CGM also said its services to Conakry in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have been suspended so that only a single service now calls the three countries.
    “In order to maintain sanitary safety for all other ports in this African area, reinforced measures have been settled in those countries and for Nigeria,” the carrier added.
   Hapag-Lloyd announced an inspection fee for West African countries because of increased costs related to the Ebola outbreak.
   In a memorandum to customers last week, Hapag-Lloyd noted WHO labeled the Ebola outbreak a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
   “As a consequence, amongst other responsible authorities in the region, the Ivory Coast Port Health department has imposed mandatory health checks on all vessels that have called in countries affected by Ebola whilst at anchorage at Abidjan,” Hapag-Lloyd said.
   “Only once they confirm that all on board are in good health, the pilot will be allowed to board and bring the respective vessel into Abidjan port. For the moment, Ivorian health inspectors/quarantine team can only attend two vessels a day,” the German line said. “Naturally, this will result in a huge delay as well as additional operational measures, including, but not limited to, diversion to other ports and extra handling, speed-ups, etc.
   Hapag Lloyd said the cost exposure “is tremendous and we see no other alternative but to recover these costs through the cargo.”
   Hapag-Lloyd will set an inspection fee charge for all shipments to and from West Africa, namely Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, in the amount of $250 per 20-foot container and $350 per 40-foot container, effective Sept. 29 for shipments moving to and from the United States and Sept. 21 for other locations.
   The UN’s International Maritime Organization stated Tuesday in a circular that seafarers infected with symptoms typical of Ebola or who have had contact with persons with the disease should not be allowed on board ships and that persons leaving affected countries should be screened.
   “WHO does not recommend any ban on international travel or trade, in accordance with advice from the WHO Ebola Emergency Committee. Travel restrictions and active screening of seafarers, passengers and others on arrival at seaports, airports or ground crossings in non-affected countries that do not share borders with affected countries are not currently recommended by WHO,” IMO said.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

We are glad you’re enjoying the content

Sign up for a free FreightWaves account today for unlimited access to all of our latest content

By signing in for the first time, I give consent for FreightWaves to send me event updates and news. I can unsubscribe from these emails at any time. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.