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Shippers incensed over south China THC rises

Shippers incensed over south China THC rises

Hong Kong: Shippers in the south China are strongly opposing the increase in terminal handling charges for container shipping in and out of South China announced by the Intra-Asia Discussion Agreement (IADA), the Informal Rate Agreement (IRA), Informal Red Sea Agreement (IRSA) and the Informal South Asia Agreement (ISAA). These rate rises bring intra-Asia THCs into line with those levied on the Asia-Europe and Transpacific tradelanes out of China.

"The increases are totally unjustifiable, and they range from two to nearly four times higher than the current levels of THC," a release from a collective of southern Chinese shipper associations said.

"When the carriers first introduced THC in China in 2003, it was already being levied on top of freight rates, and the whole sum became purely additional revenue for the carriers since all the costs at the terminals are covered by all-in freight rates, " the release continued.

"Carriers are far too greedy in seeking to raise levels totally without justification. It is clearly a move to exploit shippers for the carriers' own benefits."

The amount being considered is very substantial. Using Shenzhen ports throughput figures -- and only calculating for the particular trade lanes of said carriers--the lines are asking shippers to fork out RMB3.15bn more annually.

The carrier conferences state that the increases are proposals only and not binding on their members. 

"Consequently, shippers should reject all requirements or requests for THC increases from any or all of the carriers," the release urged.  [17/04/07]