Shipping lines increase congestion charges


ANL and Maersk will increase congestion charges at Port Botany from mid-January

By Ruza Zivkusic | December 21, 2010

Two shipping lines will increase charges next month following ongoing congestion at DP World's Port Botany terminal.

ANL and Maersk Line are the first to put up charges for shipments as rising costs caused by ongoing congestion starts to bite.

ANL will implement an emergency port congestion surcharge at the port on January 15 and Maersk will instigate the charge for shipments to and from the Americas on the Oceania service on January 17.

"The congestion surcharge is being implemented to help recover some of the significant additional cost being caused by the congestion at DP World in Port Botany," a spokesperson for Maersk says.

"Congestion issues at DP World in Port Botany have been going on for a number of months now and, as such, the costs related to vessels having to speed up after delays in order to recover our schedule integrity have extended beyond what could be reasonably planned for in our cost structure. The additional costs so far have been borne solely by carriers."

Sydney Ports Chief Executive Grant Gilfillan says he is disappointed by the move to impose a new surcharge on importers and exporters through Port Botany.

"Sydney Ports believes that a more appropriate response would be for the shipping line to contractually pass these costs to the offending stevedore, rather than down the supply chain and ultimately the consumer," Gilfillan says.

"This is in keeping with our principle of increased accountability within the whole supply chain.

"We continue to work closely with DP World terminal management to ensure the full restoration to their road and shipping operations following the November technical issues."

The spokesperson for Maersk says the charge will partially cover the cost of delays.

Shipping Australia Chief Executive Llew Russell believes the decision came as no surprise, calling it a "last resort" for the shipping lines.

"The lines have tried very hard to be patient to work with the stevedores and avoid what’s happening but these particular lines have decided they can’t wait any longer," Russell says.

"It’s something we have been warning about for quite a long time; this is a result of serious congestion in Port Botany which has got worse in the last few months resulting in sheer cost."






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