Despite imposing surcharges, routes are still suspended from bottlenecks
German carrier Hapag-Lloyd announced delays for shipments to Bangladesh in May 2021, and imposed booking restrictions. Recently, the carrier announced a 4-week suspension due to things out-of-their control.
A shift nobody anticipated?
Fury intensified when carriers gradually imposed surcharges for consignments, corroborated by NVOCCs’ complaints of paying ridiculous prices only to find out their boxes never moved. Hapag-Lloyd earlier informed of a $1,000 peak surcharge for each 20ft box and $2,000 for a 40ft box for all dry, reefer, flat rack, and open-top containers from East Asia to North America. The charge will be in force from 18 July 2021. The announcements come in the wake of severe congestion issues at major ports in Europe and Asia. Experts’ attempts to diffuse the tension by claiming such is a polite way of declining business was far-fetched.
Thereafter, the Baltic Freight Index revealed compelling facts underscoring shippers’ resistance against big carriers’ antics. Smaller vessels gradually gained a stronger presence in the midst of the global shipping chaos. This reflects manufacturers’ commitment to retailers by mitigating supply shortage with cost-effective alternatives.
Repairing potentially burnt bridges?
Hapag-Lloyd issued a telling advisory, with the title “There’s a setback!”. The advisory read, “There are some things that are out of our control… We must inform you that the backlog in Singapore for cargo destined to Chittagong has increased. With this situation at hand, all bookings for cargo moving via Singapore into Bangladesh will not be possible for the next four weeks.” The advisory added for consignments passing Colombo will continue to have a 14-day dwell time.
Industry observers felt this simple and timely communications is a duty to customers. One commented Hapag-Lloyd is leading the way in terms of communications – adding honesty backed by facts go a long way. Should this is Hapag-Lloyd’s attempt to repair burnt bridges (if any), it would be a long wait to confirm if this atonement is effective.
Marine Online News Team
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