The Global Shipper Forum has set a target of putting an end to shipping surcharges within five years.
Secretary general Chris Welsh said: “GSF is looking to end the imposition of surcharges on shippers by 2020 through a series of actions that will expose the scale and injustice of the practice to world trade bodies and if necessary publicise the worst examples notified to us.”
The GSF said surcharges on the Asia-Europe trade routes could top $250 per container and the cost could sometimes exceed the contracted price for shipments making the management of total shipping costs unpredictable for cargo owners. Its plan includes:
- Getting surcharges recognised as significant impediments to world trade by the United Nations Committee on Trade and Development and the World Trade Organisation
- Getting transparency of any surcharges and responsibility for their payment mandated in future bilateral and regional trade agreements
- Exposing the worst examples of spurious surcharges by ‘naming and shaming’ the perpetrators
- Getting responsibility for payment of any surcharges specifically accounted for in the 2020 revision of Incoterms by the International Chamber of Commerce
- Supporting local and regional actions and campaigns to expose surcharge abuses and abolish surcharge imposition through the GSF Best Practice Advice On Managing Surcharges
The organisation set the goal to end the imposition of surcharges its annual meeting which took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka at the end of July 2016.
Welsh said: “Our campaign will expose the extent of surcharging and make it an issue in future trading agreements. At times of subdued economic growth this is damaging to world trade and causing distortions in local markets.”