Hidden Costs

August15 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shippers are up in arms against new levies allegedly charged by shipping lines and other vessel operators, under the guise of documentation, security and other charges.

Shippers claim that they are being charged higher terminal handling fees, with instances of rates being upped from 115 dollars for a 20 foot container to 148 dollars by non-vessel owning carriers, Jayanath Perera, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Shippers Council told journalists on Tuesday.

Other charges that are added on to existing freight rates, Perera says, are a 25 dollar documentation fee and a six dollar security charge per bill of lading.

Importers and exporters, who do not have electronic data processing facilities, also have to pay a 25 dollar fee per document for manual processing.

The rates are over and above existing freight rates paid by local shippers for cargo space on ships and vary based on volumes of cargo shipped.

Importers and exporters are lobbying for a single freight rate that includes all charges and will then also vary with cargo volumes.

We have been asking for a regulator in Sri Lanka like there are in other countries including India and the Unite