Port fee talks plan

THE Hongkong Shippers Council will meet the Intra-Asia Discussion Agreement on March 4 to ''bargain'' with agreement officials on proposals for increases to Hongkong terminal charges.

The council's executive director Clement Yeung said that although the council has had preliminary contacts with the IADA, the two groups had not yet met formally to discuss the rate increases which have been proposed from April 1.

''They [the IADA] said they would come to the meeting with an open mind,'' Mr Yeung said.

The IADA proposed to increase terminal handling charges to $1,000 per 20 ft equivalent unit (TEU), $1,500 per 40 ft equivalent unit (FEU) and $40 per revenue tonne.

He said the council had not yet settled on a final position on the proposed increases.

IADA secretariat spokesman Mark Simon said the THC increase was to recover land-site costs in Hongkong, based on the principle as adopted by the Asia North America Eastbound Rate Agreement and the Transpacific Westbound Rate Agreement.