UNREASONABLE DEMURRAGE AND DETENTION PRACTICES AND CHARGES
CLECAT fully supports the recent press statement from FIATA on record high detention and demurrage charges. It refers to recent statements that demurrage and detention charges have doubled, resulting in complaints across the US, Europe and Asia with a reported average increase in D&D charges of 104% over the past year. Today’s maritime supply chain continues to undergo severe disruptions, exacerbated further by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Schedule reliability in terms of transit and frequency are now at an all-time low resulting in a total absence of predictability, whilst freight rates are at record high levels. Freight forwarders and their customers – many of whom are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – are particularly hard hit by these rocketing prices, being increasingly subjected to spot contracts with high price volatility as compared to longer-term contracts held by beneficial cargo owners (BCOs).
CLECAT calls on EU policymakers to ensure that their demurrage and detention charges are proportionate and fair, in the interests of ensuring a level playing field for the fluidity of international trade. This should establish that demurrage and detention rules are not independent revenue sources but should incentivize efficiencies in the ocean transportation network, including the retrieval of cargo and return of equipment. The entire supply chain, as well as economies at large, would benefit from a less opaque system with transparent, consistent and reasonable demurrage and detention practices.