26 November 2014

[261114.EN.SEA] More Lines Re-apply WC Congestion Fee, PMA Fumes, ILWU Dawdles

THREE more carriers have joined Hanjin and Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) in re-applying their US west coast congestion surcharge that they had all withdrawn earlier, but now have re-established them in defiance of official and unofficial protests.

Joining the defiant pair are Hyundai Merchant Marine, NYK and Zim, which will now levy surcharges ranging from US$800 to $1,000 per FEU from November 26, reports Newark's Journal of Commerce.

They all withdrew their surcharges, led by Maersk, after shippers cried out in protest and the US Federal Maritime Commission voice displeasure and cast doubts about the legality of surcharging cargo at sea.

Meanwhile, 18 ships, among them, 12 box ships, ride at anchor in San Pedro Bay outside the congested ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach unable to get a berth, reports American Shipper.

The 12 box ships are the OOCL Kuala Lumpur, OOCL Italy, NYK Thesius, OOCL Antwerp, APL England, Xin Fei Zhou, the Stadt Aachen, Hanjin New York, the Ever Develop, the Manulani, Hanjin Buddah and the NYK Silvia.

Meanwhile talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the employers of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) continue fitfully.

PMA president James McKenna said he is unhappy with the union's decision to discontinue talks on coastwide issues after December. 2.

The ILWU says it wants to focus on subcommittee negotiations, which involve mostly local issues at the individual port ranges.

Mr McKenna complained of union slowdowns plaguing terminal operations, including the ILWU's refusal to dispatch qualified yard crane operators.

ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees said that while subcommittee negotiations involve mostly local port issues, the smaller committees in the past have also addressed a variety of coastwide issues.

Source : HKSG.

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