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28 January 2021 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 03:56 GMT+1

January 5, 2021

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CLECAT and ESC again complain that the practices containerised shipping carriers compromise the recovery of the EU economy

Letter to the European Commission

European associations representing shippers and loaders, as they have repeatedly done during the 2020, have once again urged the European Commission to investigate the operational and commercial practices of containerised navigation, activities which, according to CLECAT (European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services) and the European Shippers' Council (ESC) are having an increasingly distorting effect on the supply chain and negative impact on the European economy.

In a letter sent to the EU Commission, referring to the operational and tariff practices of sea carriers, CLECAT and the ESC have accused, among other things, shipping companies of breach of existing contracts, to put in place conditions unreasonable in accepting reservations and to fix unilaterally noli whose value would be by far than that agreed in the contracts.

In the letter, the two associations pointed out that these practices have a particularly negative effect on small european companies that often have limited reserves of Financial. To support this thesis CLECAT and ESC have led for example the case of a company French that produces bicycles electricity companies, a company that risks closing because it does not receives spare parts from Asia: the consequence of delays in deliveries, the lack of space and the increase in the number of explained the associations -- is that the company is not in able to finish its products and is suffering losses that in the in the near future may not be able to sustain. It is a question of negative repercussions - clecat and esc specified - which are also felt by much larger companies, including those of large-scale distribution, fashion, the automotive, cosmetics and information technology.

In the letter CLECAT and ESC they again recriminated that the shipping companies operating operating on-line services reserve the ability to make changes to the nuts whenever consider it appropriate, beyond the level of tariffs and of the charges agreed with customers. The two associations have stressed that at the same time shippers and shippers must in the face of rejected bookings and delays in loading their goods on ships if sea carriers consider more accept shipments at higher rates for other goods. CLECAT and ESC also complained that the carriers would require the acceptance of additional tariffs, up to to refuse reservations by forcing customers with whom the the value of the noles was agreed by contract to having to resort to shipping with noli spots much more Onerous.

CLECAT and ESC have also focused on the problem of the current shortage of empty containers, a shortage - they explained - that was caused by supply chain outages caused by the unprecedented number of blank sailings programmed by the maritime carriers, cancellations of departures up to 30% of the total for certain traffic routes, and by the lack of reliability of the schedules, since - they have specified the two associations - only 50% of the starting dates of the ships was found to correspond to those announced by shipping companies. CLECAT and ESC noted that, if, on the one hand, maritime carriers are trying to send back the empty containers in China for both operational and commercial needs, on the other hand this is producing a domino effect as it there is a general shortage of containers available for european exports and, consequently, freight forwarders must even confronting nicknames such as those imposed by the shipping companies and motivated by the need to cover the costs for repositioning containers. According to CLECAT and ESC, this motivation are it would make sense since maritime carriers decide to send empty containers back to China essentially for commercial reasons.

In the letter CLECAT and ESC also recalled that they had already expressed their frustration at the decision of the European Commission to extend once again the application of the block exemption regulation in favour of companies navigation services operating line services ( of the 26th March 2020). Decision - they noted - thanks to which the sea carriers may continue to jointly establish the programming of blank sailing, leading to a lack of capacity that has allowed carriers to increase significantly the noles, both those fixed through contracts and those Spot.

CLECAT and ESC concluded by reiterating once again that these practices of shipping companies represent a serious risk to the resilience of the Union's economies European.

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