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Latest THC breakdown ‘vague’
31st May 2004
Shippers to present memorandum to Cabinet to push for legislation on charges
MALAYSIAN shippers are unsatisfied with information provided by the Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement (TSA) as to what makes up terminal handling charge (THC). |
They will continue pushing for legislation to be enacted by the government and are expected to come up with a memorandum to be presented to the Cabinet.
Shippers and manufacturing council officials, who met with TSA executive director Albert Pierce in Kuala Lumpur last week, felt TSA could have come up with something better.
TSA is a grouping that represents major ocean carriers that periodically impose freight rate surcharges and restoration programmes.
The dialogue was attended by representatives from the Malaysian National Shippers Council (MNSC), Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, Transport Ministry and International Trade and Industry Ministry.
According to the attendees, TSA had failed to produce a satisfactory list of the details of the THC, giving a breakdown that was “very general”.
When questioned further on individual components, Pierce had also apparently said he was under “instructions not to reveal” certain matters.
MNSC vice-president (freight committee) S. Darumalinggam said from what transpired, the only way forward was to continue pressing for legislation.
“This is what we have been asking for all along. Only legislation can solve this matter, which has been going on for the past 10 years.
“We must call for a meeting among ourselves to decide on the next course of action we will have to take.”
The issue of THC has long been a bone of contention between local and Asian shippers and foreign shipping lines.
Shippers have been asking lines to be transparent with their charges and to reveal the breakdown of the THC, which they feel already include charges for container cleaning and documentation.
Currently, terminal operators in Port Klang bill their customers, shipping lines, RM230 in what is termed as terminal handling charges.
However, shipping lines charge shippers RM335 also deemed as THC.
This has led shippers to question the reason for the additional RM105, and what it is being charged for.
The enactment of legislation, it was felt, would ensure that foreign shipping lines do not indiscriminately raise transport-related charges that would burden local manufacturers.
It would also require carriers to file an application to the government before being allowed to impose any additional or new charges.
TSA is following in the footsteps of the Intra Asia Discussion Agreement, which came out with a breakdown of the THC earlier.
TSA is also going from one country to another to meet with Asian shippers’ councils on the matter.
The THC breakdown given by TSA at the meeting last week consisted of the following 10 items;
- Empty containers provided to shippers of export cargo;
- Discharge from vessel,
- storage on terminal,
- trucking to off docks,
- lift-on lift-off on terminal,
- storage at off docks,
- container dispatch,
- Marshalling both empty and loaded containers at the terminal,
- Safety re-stows,
- Stack / stack moves in the terminal,
- Receiving loaded containers at the terminal,
- Inspection of loaded boxes,
- Sealing cost at the terminal,
- Loaded container storage at the terminal,
- Lift loaded container to the vessel; and,
- Terminal handling administration cost
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