Major Multinational Shipping Companies Impose Hefty Charges During Port Delays

Major Multinational Shipping Companies Impose Hefty Charges During Port Delays

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On 2, 3 and 7 November 2023 respectively, global shipping frontrunners including AP Moller Maersk (Maersk), Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Hapag Lloyd (Hapag) announced that they would be imposing hefty surcharges on congested vessels at South African ports.

The decision to impose fees on cargo ships entering South African ports has arisen due to the increasingly complex operational conditions caused by congestion ahead of the country’s impending busy summer season, say the shipping giants. While congestion surcharges are envisioned to cover reasonable expenses such as additional fuel and maintenance costs incurred by shipping companies where increased traffic at ports have caused delays, the surcharges imposed at South African ports are substantially higher than the global average according to South African Association of Freight Forwarders’ Head of Research and Development, Mr Jacob van Rensburg.

Nonetheless, as of early December 2023, Maersk and MSC will apply a congestion surcharge on all dry cargo going to ports across the country. In this regard, Maersk and MSC have announced that the congestion surcharge would be levied on all dry cargo entering South African ports, except cargo arriving from East and West Africa. Hapag, on the other hand, has explained that the geographical scope of its surcharge relates to cargo from all ports and countries, and to all ports in South Africa.

The following surcharges are applicable:

  • Maersk: between USD 200 – 400 per relevant shipping container as of 1 December 2023;
  • MSC: USD 210 per relevant shipping container as of 3 December 2023;
  • Hapag: between USD 200 – 400 per relevant shipping container as of 8 December 2023.

For further information, access the official notices below:

Nicola Taljaard

About Nicola Taljaard

Associate Designate at Primerio - LLB and LLM International Trade Law (cum laude) graduate from Stellenbosch University, focusing on areas of International Commercial Sales Law, Sustainable Development and Social Justice, International Law of Tax and Legal Aspects of World and Regional Trade. Nicola is currently employed as a candidate attorney at Primerio International, a pan-African law firm specialising in competition, trade and corporate law.

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