Philippines: Traders want lower shipping charges

A business group said that high shipping charges will erode the profitability of companies and the competitiveness of the economy.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry said shipping lines continued to impose charges on empty equipment imbalance, such as handover cost and operation recovery cost, despite the normalizing port situation.

“I’ve been telling you before that once the port situation is resolved, the problem will be the opportunistic camps like shipping lines that refuse to lower cost to original level,” PCCI president Alfredo Yao told reporters.

The empty equipment imbalance refers to the surcharge on ocean freight rate, imposed by shipping lines, to recover costs related to removing large quantities of empty containers from a country where there is no export use for those containers that had been previously imported into those places.

The charge is usually a flat rate per container, and is not necessarily applied in all trades or at all times. It is only applied when such trade imbalances necessitate large expenditure on shifting empty containers from one place to another.

Yao said the shipping charges were on top of the regular freight costs and the like.

Yao said despite the lifting of the truck ban, logistics problem persisted at the ports but the situation was way better than a few months ago.

He said the government should act on shipping issues as the holiday season was approaching.

“During height of logistics crisis, the shipping lines charge us for imbalance of containers. But now the congestion problem subsided, they still charge us,” said Yao.
Source: Manila Standard