• ITVI.USA
    15,909.400
    -330.930
    -2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.776
    0.014
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.610
    -0.170
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,915.300
    -318.010
    -2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,909.400
    -330.930
    -2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.776
    0.014
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.610
    -0.170
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,915.300
    -318.010
    -2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American ShipperShipping

Newsflash: Carriers postpone surcharges

MSC has shuttled its planned imposition of a port congestion surcharge on the West Coast.

   More container carriers have confirmed they are postponing plans
to impose a congestion surcharge on cargo moving through West Coast
ports.
   MSC, the second-largest container liner company, said it “has
postponed the congestion surcharge for cargoes moving over U.S. West Coast
ports. Although congestion at these ports continue to cause substantial
delays to our clients, and considerable costs to ourselves, we have
decided not to impose this charge at this time.”
   In a notice
dated Wednesday, Maersk, the largest container carrier, said
“congestion is real and tangible, and a reality which will continue to
impact the U.S. West Coast for the foreseeable future. That said, we have
made the decision to delay the application of the congestion surcharge
until further notice. The congestion surcharge will, for the time being,
not be applied to any cargo as otherwise communicated previously.”
   CMA CGM said in a customer advisory dated Wednesday it had decided to suspend the implementation of an import port congestion surcharge.
   They are among many carriers that have decided for a second time to
postpone congestion surcharges on cargo moving through West Coast ports.
   While creating a great deal of confusion on Thanksgiving Eve, the
news was welcome as it spread among shippers and forwarders.
   The forwarder Mallory Alexander sent an email to customers Wednesday
telling them to “please be advised, we have received information from
several reliable sources that the TSA carriers shall indefinitely
suspend implementation of the port congestion surcharge.”
   Peter Friedmann, executive director of the
Agriculture Transportation Coalition, said, “They are all now suspending or delaying surcharges — all together,
like lemmings.”
   Bruce Carlton, chief
executive officer of the National Industrial Transportation League, said, “I don’t have the full story, but what seems to be missing altogether
in
the on again/off again surcharge business is any semblance of ‘clear and
definite’ criteria for their imposition. That standard is required by
FMC regulations, and the agency ‘reminded’ the carriers just a few days
ago.
   “While I need to learn more about what is happening right now, I am
always on alert when they all take the same action at the same time,” he continued.
“Like I said, I may be missing some important pieces, but I will be digging
in deeper.”
   Sara Mayes, president of Gemini Shippers Association, also said she was receiving notice of surcharge suspensions.
   On the day before Thanksgiving, plans were changing so quickly that even senior managers at some companies were unable to give definitive information.
   “What a relief before you hit the road for Thanksgiving travel,” one
3PL executive told American Shipper. “We are receiving advisory letters
from some ocean carriers about a postponement of the port congestion
charge until further notice.
   “Does this mean that ocean carriers will give it up? No. They
don’t want to,” he continued. “They will try to use it to increase rate
level whenever there is a chance. After the Thanksgiving holidays,
congestion is expected to get slightly worse. So ocean carriers may use
this to re-assess the port congestion charge next week. Another
possibility is they would rather focus on the Dec. 15 general rate
increase instead of the port congestion charge.”

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.