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TSA container lines to impose Asia-US fuel surcharges

TSA container lines to impose Asia-US fuel surcharges

Hong Kong: The 14 container lines who make up the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) plan to impose bunker fuel surcharges on ongoing contracts to offset surging oil prices. The lines, which sail from Asia to US ports, will charge customers  $545 per teu and $860 per feu beginning this month, reports Reuters.

"We're in a global market of nearly $100 a barrel for crude oil and over $500 a tonne for bunker fuel - up from $295 at the beginning of 2007," TSA chairman and Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) executive Ronald Widdows said in a statement. "There is no possible scenario under which container lines, with 50% of their operating costs per sailing tied up in fuel, can lock in a fuel surcharge for a year without haemorrhaging money."

TSA member lines estimate a gap of over $5bn between the amount spent on marine bunker fuel between February 2006 and August 2007, and the total fuel surcharges collected for said period.

TSA is made up by NOL's American President Lines, CMA CGM, Cosco Container, Evergreen Marine, Hanjin, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Mitsui OSK, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Orient Overseas, Yang Ming Marine, Mediterranean Shipping and Zim Integrated Shipping.   [16/11/07]