Carriers Move Ahead With Imposing Surcharges on West Coast

Friday, November 21, 2014

Carriers Move Ahead With Imposing Surcharges on West Coast

As the slow down on the West Coast shows no signs of abating, Hanjin Shipping and Mediterranean Shipping Company sent out alerts notifying customers that previously suspended surcharges will now commence and will apply to all shipments arriving on the West Coast and Canadian ports that are destined for the US and Mexico.

Averaging approximately $1000 per container, one major carrier said the charges are needed to cover the “massive increase in costs arising from significant increases in port congestion and serious disruption to our normal course of operation due to labor unrest…”   

Federal Maritime Commissioner William Doyle states that ocean carriers should not under any circumstances add port congestion surcharges.  By building bigger ships before ports had a chance to upgrade in an effort to accommodate the larger vessels, coupled with the decision to stop providing chassis, carriers have played a substantial role in creating the congestion, states Doyle.  He further declares that carriers need to share in discovering ways to help resolve the congestion issues.