01 October 2021


Members of the CLECAT Maritime Logistics Institute met on 28 September to discuss the latest developments impacting sea freight forwarders, notably the ongoing disruptions in the maritime supply chain which is largely impacting SMEs in Europe. Shippers and freight forwarders continue to be confronted with high freight rates and a low level of service quality from ocean carriers.

Members discussed ongoing developments in the US with regards to demurrage and detention. Reference was made to the ongoing investigation on the timing and legal sufficiency of eight carriers’ practices on container surcharges. The FMC also announced an updated guidance document on how to obtain reparation from conducts violating the Shipping Act and a public consultation to assess whether carriers will be required to adhere to certain practices on D&D billings. Members highlighted the need for initiatives at European level to ensure fair and reasonable charges for detention and demurrage.

Finally, members received a presentation on the Fit for 55 proposals which will have an impact on maritime logistics, namely the extension of the EU ETS to maritime transport, the FuelEU Maritime initiative, the AFIR and the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive. The proposals have been largely welcomed, as it will finally apply the polluter-pays principle to shipping, which was excluded from most of the emissions reduction measures. Revenues generated from the auctioning of ETS allowances should be ringfenced to support development of low and zero-emission technologies, with a dedicated envelop for maritime. However, members stressed that the ETS for shipping must be properly designed to avoid “carbon evasion” and ensure that carriers do not take advantage of the system by introducing further surcharges well above the CO2 price.