UK forwarders back campaign to end shipping line surcharges

By Jennifer Johnson
The British International Freight Association (BIFA), the UKs trade association for freight forwarding and logistics companies, has announced its suppor...

The British International Freight Association (BIFA), the UK’s trade association for freight forwarding and logistics companies, has announced its support for an international shippers’ call to end surcharges imposed by shipping companies within five years.

Late last month, the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) passed a resolution to end the surcharges within five years at its annual meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Surcharges are additional charges applied by some shipping lines and forwarders to the contracted costs of moving freight containers around the world.

"Shippers of goods around the world have had enough of demands made by carriers and forwarders for the payment of charges that are poorly explained or out of proportion for any service provided,” said Chris Welsh, Secretary General of the Global Shippers Forum.

“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."

Robert Keen, BIFA Director General, said that members have become accustomed to shipping lines adding peak season, fuel and currency surcharges.

“Forwarders do not like shipping line surcharges and we have been challenging their legitimacy on behalf of our members – and their customers – for many years,” said Keen.

“We welcome the resolution passed by the Global Shippers’ Forum to work towards the end of these surcharges within five years.”

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