Shippers press for 30pc drop in charges

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 September, 1999, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Shippers' Council will hold a meeting today with members of the Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement (TSA) to ask for a reduction in the controversial terminal handling charges.

Since May 1 last year, carriers have imposed a charge of US$2,855 per 40-foot container on traffic from Hong Kong to the United States.

'The shippers will press for a 30 per cent reduction in charges,' sources said.

Alternatively, shippers want carriers to incorporate the levy into an all-in-one charge similar to the arrangement before the 1990s.

Shippers have also asked carriers to consider giving notice of 90 days before imposing a rate increase and to introduce a joint-consultation mechanism to discuss such proposals.

The council will meet representatives of TSA members Sea-Land, Maersk, Orient Overseas Container Line, APL, P&O Nedlloyd and K-Line at the meeting.

The council recently presented a report on the charges issue to the Secretary of Economic Services Stephen Ip Shu-kwan, which was then presented to the Legislative Council's panel on transport affairs.