July 20, (LBO) – Sri Lankan exporters and importers have called for a regulator to monitor the pricing practices of shipping lines, as freight rates move up and exporters are hit with fees outside the quoted rates. Jayanath Perera, outgoing chairman of the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council, industry body representing firms engaged in international trade, said they were not opposed to shipping lines making profits but were against “arbitrary” rate hikes.
Shippers have been asking for notice and consultation on freight rates and a stop to the charging of various fees outside the freight rates quoted to shippers.
The booming economies of Asia, especially China and India, meant vastly increased shipments from the region with the result that Sri Lankan shipments were being squeezed out, he told the association’s annual general meeting Wednesday.
Everybody predicted excess capacity in container shipping brought on by the number of new and bigger ships being deployed would bring down freight rates after 2006, he said.
“But with the rapid economic development of the Asian majors those predictions were invalidated,” Perera said.
Increased exports fro