Godfried Smit, Secretary General, European Shippers Council

Godfried Smit, Secretary General, European Shippers Council

In the ESC’s view, surcharges will be a critical issue in 2019 because it will alter the entire present cost structure. Liners have publicly announced that prices for their services will go up by unpredictable figures, proving that the real impact is yet to be identified.

The ESC supports the introduction of low-sulfur fuel, not only in terms of an eco-friendly image but essentially to make the entire system sustainable in its stakeholders’ relationships.
While surcharges should only be debatable in unavoidable, temporary, and unexpected events, carriers are currently putting a surcharge in place to cover the higher price of this fuel. In today’s reality, this is not acceptable.

The ESC has learned from previous experiences, such as the Sulfur Emission Control Area implementation, that costs were increased without any level of transparency, just to comply with the changes.

For the future, the ESC calls for trust and transparency in the maritime supply chain.  
As no single party is able to tackle these issues on its own, building trust between all concerned stakeholders that face this enormous challenge of the pending new fuel regulation ahead is essential.

It cannot be managed from within a silo point of view, or with a similar approach taken to tackle previous logistical challenges. It is therefore crucial that current fragmented maritime logistics operations are open to transparency as a fundamental step to increased performance.

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