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BIFA calls for probe into ‘unfair’ surcharges

[ November 19, 2020   //   ]

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has joined FIATA (The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations) in calling on governments to investigate unreasonable surcharges in ocean freight.

It said that its members are being inundated with additional fees even though they are not responsible and have no control over service delays and port congestion.

BIFA director general, Robert Keen said that freight forwarders and shippers were “reeling from unjust demurrage fees linked to congestion in ports around the world”.

They should not be penalised by demurrage and detention practices when they cannot retrieve containers from, or return containers to, marine terminals.

He cited a US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) ruling in May which concluded that there had been a long history of unjust and unfair demurrage and detention practices, not just in the US but globally. 

Keen added: “Governments must have greater scrutiny over demurrage and detention for the good of their own economies.” 

It is urging decision makers to consider whether demurrage and detention practices are serving their intended purposes as financial incentives to promote freight fluidity.