FIATA, the international trade association that represents the world's freight forwarders and logistics service providers, says it is time for the world's container shipping lines to provide greater clarity on the ever increasing variety of surcharges that they apply.
Robert Keen, chairman of FIATA's Multimodal Transport Institute, says that forwarders are accustomed to currency and fuel surcharges, but need more transparency for other surcharges, often with questionable names and purposes, that are charged to freight forwarders.
Keen said, "In the past, we have seen Administration Fees, Peak Season Surcharges, or ISPS-add on surcharges. Of late, we have had examples of container cleaning fees and container sealing fees, without any evidence of the expense actually being incurred."
There have also been recent examples of port congestion surcharges caused by labour unrest; and haulage surcharges resulting from HGV driver shortages, which is difficult to understand as there is no explanation and little justification for an additional charge for a service that the container line is finding difficult to provide.
Keen, who is also Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) concludes: "It is time for freight forwarders to stop accepting at face value opaque and unjustified surcharges."
Hans Günther Kersten, Director General
FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations was founded in Vienna, Austria on May 31, 1926. It is a non-governmental organization that today represents an industry covering approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms, employing around 8-10 million people in some 160 countries. FIATA has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (inter alia ECE, ESCAP, ESCWA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). It is recognized as representing the freight forwarding industry by many other governmental organizations, governmental authorities, private international organizations in the field of transport such as the European Commission (through CLECAT), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.
4 November 2014