Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) yesterday announced that they would implement a Sydney port congestion surcharge of USD 300 per 20ft and USD 600 per 40ft onto their destination port charge fees.
The fee will apply to import vessels arriving on and after 14 September 2020 and export vessels departing on and after 14 September 2020.
MSC has cited ongoing port congestion caused by Industrial action as their reasoning and it will apply until further notice, please see this notice from MSC for their full explanation (MSC Congestion Surcharge).
The application of port congestion fees by shipping lines is not uncommon and has been applied in ports around the world in the past when severe congestion has occurred. It is uncommon for the fees to be implemented without proper notice and to import containers already in transit.
This has obviously effected many hundreds of containers in-transit to Sydney and has caused widespread dismay. Our industry representative, Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA), is taking this matter up with MSC Australia and they have included various NSW state government authorities and state members of parliament into their communications with MSC. Please see this letter published by FTA earlier today (FTA MSC Letter 10 Sep 2020).
Unfortunately at present the surcharge applies and will be passed on when applied by MSC.
At this point MSC is the only carrier to introduce a port congestion surcharge however it is probable that other shipping lines will also apply a congestion surcharge based around the continuing issues plaguing NSW Ports as outlined in our earlier news alerts.
ACA International will keep you informed of any further updates on the application of Sydney port congestion surcharges.