NEWS 

Carriers Ready Surcharges in Case of US West Coast Disruptions

Hapag-Lloyd at the weekend informed its customers that it will be prepared to levy what could be large congestion surcharges on shipments to and from the United States in the event that work stoppages occur during West Coast longshore contract negotiations this summer.

Negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association are scheduled to begin on May 12. The current contract will expire on July 1. Hapag-Lloyd stated in a release that it will be prepared to implement a congestion surcharge beginning June 10, if conditions at North American ports generate additional costs for its operations.

Hapag-Lloyd is one of at least 12 carriers that have filed their tentative plans for congestion surcharges with the Federal Maritime Commission, said Niels Erich, a spokesman for the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement. Two additional carriers have indicated they will also file congestion surcharges, Erich said today.

Full article from the Journal of Commerce can be found at www.joc.com

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Contract Negotiations on the Waterfront Worry Many About Shipping Season

Ship early and ship often. That’s the advice logistics experts are giving to apparel and textile importers who don’t want to be caught up in a possible strike that could take place this summer at West Coast ports.

Negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents 13,600 registered workers at West Coast ports, and the Pacific Maritime Association, whose 72 members include shipping lines and terminal operators, rev up on May 12 in San Francisco.

The current six-year contract expires on July 1, but few believe the negotiations will be wrapped up by June 30. In the past, it has taken weeks after the deadline to come up with an agreement, and this always puts importers and exporters on edge.

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