Sulphur surcharge ‘blatant profiteering’

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Plans by shipping lines to introduce a “sulphur surcharge” are “unjustified and blatant profiteering”, according to the British International Freight Association.

It was responding the decision by Maersk to introduce a new bunker adjustment factor a year ahead of a planned global sulphur cap on marine emissions which come into force on 1st January 2020.

This BAF could increase the price of a 40 foot container on the Far East – Northern Europe route by $480 to $840 depending on fuel price.

BIFA director general Robert Keen said: “By any measure, these are very major increases, and they will be received negatively by BIFA members’ customers.

“While the shipping operators may say that the new BAFs are needed to cover the cost of switching to low sulphur fuels or fitting exhaust ‘scrubbers’, rises of this magnitude are unjustified and could be construed as blatant profiteering by shipping lines determined to exploit the situation.”

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