Major shipping lines have decided to postpone imposing an increase in congestion surcharges at Aqaba Port ?until further notice?.
Major shipping lines have decided to postpone imposing an increase in congestion surcharges at Aqaba Port ?until further notice?, shipping sources said on Saturday. Last week, a consortium of major international shipping lines announced a $250 increase in congestion surcharges for 20-foot containers and $500 for 40-foot containers, which led to concerns that the move would result in the prices of essential commodities rising before Ramadan. However, following negotiations between the Transport Ministry and the concerned lines, Maersk and APL shipping lines issued separate statements announcing "postponement of the implementation of the congestion surcharge at Aqaba Port?".
On Saturday, Evergreen Line followed suit and decided to postpone the measure, also "until further notice", according to a statement sent to The Jordan Times by its sole agent in the Kingdom, Naouri Group.
President of the Shipping Agents Association Rudain Kawar noted that the Mediterranean Shipping Company and the Japanese shipping company, ?K? Line, were not among the lines that decided to increase the congestion surcharges.
"As soon as Maersk announced the postponement of the decision, most other lines followed accordingly," he told The Jordan Times in a phone interview yesterday.
But Kawar said Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) must improve its performance by September 1 to prevent the shipping lines from going ahead with the increase, noting that they agreed to delay their decision after witnessing an improvement in the port's handling of consignments during the past two weeks.
"The issue is over for the time being," Kawar said, pointing out that the shipping agents will keep their eyes on the port in the next two weeks and decide whether to revoke the decision or reinstate it based on the terminal"s actions with regard to delays.
Meanwhile, ACT announced yesterday that it has invested $45 million in developing the terminal, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported yesterday.
In a statement released last week, ACT said it has suspended previous arrangements to deal with congestion in the port based on the "First-in-first-out (FIFO)" system, and will reinstate Berthing Window Agreements as of yesterday.
According to Kawar, this measure will contribute to resolving the delay and end the congestion.