GSF Develops Plan to End Container Shipping Surcharges

August 3: Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) has developed a plan to end container shipping surcharges within five years, GSF said during its Annual Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka. GSF is looking to end “the imposition of surcharges on shippers by 2020” through a series of actions “that will expose the scale and injustice of the practice to world trade bodies,” Chris Welsh, Secretary General of the Global Shippers’ Forum, said.

The reasons given for applying a surcharge and the scale of charges are growing, but shippers claim they are not related to the true costs of the service being provided. Examples of surcharges amounting to USD 250 per container were given by GSF members using Asia-Europe trade routes. The cost can sometimes exceed the contracted price for shipments making the management of total shipping costs unpredictable for cargo owners, GSF said. “Our campaign will expose the extent of surcharging and make it an issue in future trading agreements,” Welsh said.

He added that GSF “is determined to end these practices and restore visibility to shipping rates and confidence to shippers.”