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FMC Commissioner Doyle hits out at congestion surcharges

FMC Commissioner Doyle hits out at congestion surcharges
US Federal Maritime Commissioner William Doyle says lines should not be adding congestion surcharges under “any circumstance”.

In a statement on amendments to the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) and port congestion Doyle said that lines had forced ports around the world to react to their business model of building larger vessels.

He noted that only five years ago an 8,000 teu vessel calling at a US port was an uncommon event, but today vessels of up to 14,000 teu were calling at US West Coast ports. While US ports were spending billions of dollars to upgrade their facilities, “The larger ships have come onto the market quicker than the ports can react by way of construction and upgrading, thereby, significantly exacerbating port congestion by unloading ever larger volumes of containers.”

As congestion has worsened with labour unrest issues in the US member lines of the TSA have started rolling out congestion surcharges of up to $1,000 per feu from Asia to the US.

“I believe the ocean carriers should not be adding surcharges for port congestion under any circumstance now or into the foreseeable future for imports or exports.  Indeed, the ocean carriers have a substantial hand in the formation of port congestion matters,” he stated.