Let’s do away with shipping surcharges: BIFA

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is repeating the calls it has made previously for an end to surcharges imposed by shipping lines.
The latest call follows recent announcements by the world’s leading container shipping companies almost in unison that they would be levying ‘emergency’ bunker surcharges in response to rising fuel costs.
“Forwarders do not like shipping line surcharges of whatever nature and we have been challenging their legitimacy on behalf of our members – and their customers – for many years,” said BIFA director general Robert Keen.
“In the past, we have seen equipment imbalance surcharges, peak season surcharges and currency surcharges, in addition to fuel surcharges.
“The number of surcharges and fees continues to grow – often with no real explanation or justification. For instance, what does an extra ‘administration fee’ or ‘container sealing fee’ cover that is not in the standard service offered?”
Shippers can also be asked to pay surcharges when there is port congestion caused by labour unrest or bad weather, or haulage surcharges when there is a shortage of HGV drivers.
Forwarders do all they can to minimise the effects of the surcharges but in the end at least some of the costs need to be passed on to the customers “and there is sometimes an unfair perception that our members are to blame,” he added.
“If a shipper enters a contract to buy goods they should know exactly what they are paying and that price should not change. If they use Incoterms they can buy ex works or FOB and control the supply chain. If they let their supplier arrange shipping, they have no control over the charges applied. But in either case, additional surcharges imposed by shipping lines should not be allowed,” Mr Keen concluded.

Freight association to advise UK Government on Brexit

On Wednesday 30 March UK Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 to begin negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union. The British International Freight Association (BIFA) – the trade body representing the UK’s freight forwarding companies – responded with a statement noting that speculation on the outcome of the move cannot yet be made, and the Association will aid the government in traversing the path ahead for trade.
“In the run up to the UK’s eventual exit we will be working with Government to try and ensure that the movement of the UK’s visible import and export trade does not become overburdened by over complicated trade procedures,” said Robert Keen, Director General, BIFA.
“Clearly there are significant areas of concern for our members, which are responsible for much of the physical movement of that trade, over the eventual outcome, including the physical infrastructure, trade arrangements and Customs practices that will be reviewed as part of the Brexit negotiations,” he added.
“I have already gone on the record to warn about the huge number of pundits offering solutions when nobody really knows what is likely to happen in reality.
“BIFA’s focus now will be presenting the views of our members to the various government departments that we deal with, as well as working with organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry and International Chamber of Commerce to make sure that all parties negotiating the post-Brexit landscape are fully aware of the potential challenges for which they will need to find solutions.”

© All Rights Reserved. All content published on this site is the property of Prime Creative Media. Unauthorised reproduction is prohibited

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Close