After suspending plans, MSC says it will begin surcharge related to West Coast port congestion next week.
UPDATE: Since this story was filed, several other carriers have also said they will start charging a congestion surcharge later this month. The logistics firm Mallory Alexander has been posting updates on carrier surcharges as it receives them on its website.
MSC, the second largest container carrier, said it has now decided to start imposing a surcharge related to congestion at West Coast ports on Nov. 26.
The company — like many other shipping lines — had originally announced plans Nov. 14 to start applying a congestion surcharge on Monday of this week.
It originally planned to apply the charge on “all cargoes discharged or gated in at USWC ports on or after Nov. 17, 2014.”
But after the Federal Maritime Commission and many shippers raised questions about whether the surcharges could be applied to cargo that was already tendered to carriers or in transit, MSC and other companies suspended their surcharges.
MSC announced the suspension “until further notice” in announcement dated Wednesday, Nov. 19.
But the very next day, Thursday, Nov. 20, MSC said it would go ahead with the surcharge after all, but at a later date.
“With several weeks of slowdown on U.S. West Coast port operations, our vessels are being worked at a slower pace, extending the stay at the port, which consequently leads to other vessels having to wait a significant number of days outside the port. Consequently, a costly recovery program, including a multitude of services, has been orchestrated to lessen the delay of U.S. exports, Asia exports and flow of equipment into Asia,” the container carrier said.
It added that it wished “to recover our expenses and mitigate our potential loss of revenue, and shall, therefore, effective Nov. 26, 2014 (gate-in date) charge a Port Congestion Surcharge.”
The amount of the surcharge is $800 per TEU, $1,000 per FEU and $1,125 per high-cube container.