Discounts on the charges will ensure shippers’ ability to cope during this challenging period
by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE Malaysian National Shippers Council (MNSC) is asking for the Transport Ministry (MoT) to intervene with shipping lines’ imposing high demurrage and detention (D&D) charges due to delays in collection of the cargo in the last two weeks.
MNSC chairman Datuk Dr Andy Seo said shippers have experienced similar high D&D charges during the first Movement Control Order (MCO 1.0) with average D&D charges ranging from RM168,000 to RM800,000 from March until April 2020.
“Shipping lines are not willing to release containers until the full charges are paid by shippers,” Seo said.
He added that a waiver or discounts on the charges will ensure shippers’ ability to cope during this challenging period.
The National Security Council’s (MKN) had recently approved the loading and unloading of non-essential cargo during the Full MCO.
While this will greatly alleviate port congestion and facilitate companies with cargo in the factory warehouse to be exported to meet urgent contractual commitments, Seo said shippers are burdened with high D&D charges.
Meanwhile, Seo thanked the MoT for its timely intervention and assistance in obtaining the MKN’s approval.
“We understand that Northport (M) Bhd and Westports Holdings Bhd agreed to waive the port storage and removal charges in Port Klang on a case-by-case basis during the FMCO.
“We hope that other ports will emulate Port Klang and grant similar waivers to alleviate the financial burden that shippers will need to bear during this difficult period,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.
MoT welcomed the MKN’s decision to allow exporters and importers to perform loading and unloading of non-essential goods from 8am to 8pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting last Friday.
Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said this is to alleviate the situation for logistics players and to clear capacity at the ports and airports.
“This operation will also allow movement of non-essential goods (limited to stock in hand only) for importing and exporting to neighbouring countries.
“Operations for essential goods that have been granted the International Trade and Industry Ministry’s letter are not subject to this arrangement.
“This decision was reached after considering the balance between addressing the alarming numbers of Covid-19 cases and the need to ensure adequate and uninterrupted movement of goods for our conventional marketplaces and e-commerce activities,” he said in a statement recently.