Dec 29, 2020 / 11:29

Vietnam Maritime Administration urges transparency in container shipping rates

Since November, most shipping companies have announced price hikes of two to 10-fold in sea freight fees.

Following complaints from forwarders that there has been a surge in container shipping rates, the Vietnam Maritime Administration (VMA) has requested shipping companies to ensure  transparency in their  prices listing process.

 Cargo handling at Hai Phong port. Photo: Pham Hung. 

“Not only of trader’s report on recent hikes in fees of freight, they have also expressed concern about the shortage of empty containers for exports,” noted the VMA.

The VMA expected all shipping companies to submit in detail freight fees back to the agency, which should be in line with the government’s Decree No.146/2016/ND-CP detailing regulations on publishing of fees and surcharges of ocean container shipping and seaport charges.

“In addition to ensure publicity and transparency of the container shipping rates and any potential price hikes, shipping companies are expected to prevent cases of exploiting the market volatility for unfair gains and disrupt the sea freight market,” added the VMA.

The VMA requested shipping firms to prepare sufficient amount of 40-feet empty containers to support export activities, especially during a current peak time of trade.

Since November, most shipping companies have announced price hikes of two to 10-fold in transportation fees. Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has informed the container rental fee to the UK in October was listed at US$1,420 per 20-feet container, but rose to $5,420 in November and $7,200 in December. Similarly, container rental fee from Vietnam to Los Angeles before October stood at $700-1,000 per container, and now is listed at $5,000.

Meanwhile, container shipping rate from Thailand to Vietnam before October was $60 per container, but skyrocketed to $600 in November.

Shipping firms are reported to move their empty containers to China to take advantage of high sea freight fee in the country, causing a shortage of containers in Vietnam and resulting in a high fee for forwarders.