Association criticises Maersk sulphur charge
The trade asassociation, British International Freight Association (BIFA), criticises Maersk Lines plans to cover the additional costs of low sulphur fuel by implementing a special charge. The charge, bunker adjustment factor (BAF) will be introduced in January 2019, one year before IMO’s new sulphur regulations are set in motion.
”These price increases are very high no matter how you look at it, and they will be received negatively by BIFA-member’s customers. Transport companies can say that the new BAFs are necessary to cover the costs of switching to low-sulphur fuels or installing scrubbers, but increases of this size are unjustified and could look like obvious profit hunting from shipping companies that are determined to exploit the situation "Says Robert Keen, CEO of BIFA.
It was not before this week that the Danish container shipping company announced that it could entail a toll of hundreds of dollars per container, if the expected extra cost of approximately two billion dollars in additional bunker bills is to be covered.
BIFA would prefer that each price increase is charged as part of the freight rates, and that any necessary fluctuation is regulated within this number. According Keen, the trade association will continue to do everything within their power to minimize the fees. But in the end, at least some of the additional cost will be passed on the customers.
”BIFA members now face the task of explaining another additional charge to their customers, and the reason behind the charge. This sulphur charge will become extremely unpopular” says Keen.