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Exports hit with increased charges

Update: March, 20/2012 - 10:58

HCM CITY — An increase in container shipping fees has caused more financial difficulties for exporters, according to a report in the Sai Gon Tiep Thi (Saigon Marketing) newspaper.

Foreign shipping lines raised their charges earlier this month on many shipping routes from Viet Nam to many countries, including the US as well as the Middle East and Europe.

The Hong Kong-based carrier OOCL, for instance, raised its charges by US$600 per container on routes from Viet Nam to northern Europe and to countries in the Mediterranean area.

Similarly, the German-based Hapag Lloyd maritime carrier increased its charges on routes from Viet Nam to North America by $600 per container.

Other shipping lines such as CMA, Maesk Line and NYK raised container shipping fees by $800-$1,000 per container.

A representative of a shipping company said the fees were raised to recover freight charges that dropped sharply in 2008 and to make up for fuel-price rises.

Duong Ngoc Minh, general director of Hung Vuong Seafood Company, said he was shocked at the news that each export container would have to bear an additional of $800-$1,000 in shipping fees, depending on the route.

The higher container shipping fees meant each kilo of exported frozen tra fish must cost an additional VND1,000, he said.

The company began paying on March 1 an additional $10,400 on average in shipping costs to transport its frozen tra fish to the EU, the US and South America.

Many exporters of rice, cashews, coffee, garments and textiles as well as furniture said the increase of freight charges caused problems for them since many of them ship under C&F (cost and freight) delivery conditions, meaning that sellers have to bear transport costs.

A director of a cashew export company said his company had paid $1,700 per container to Europe in earlier this year, but the cost had risen to $2,500 a container now.

Nhu Hong Hanh, head of import-export at Viet Tien Garment Company, said even when the importer pays transport costs, garment and textile companies still have to pay many fees, including fuel surcharges and container imbalance charge.

Export companies said that raising export prices to compensate for the losses was not feasible, as it was difficult to negotiate with importers on higher prices. — VNS

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