Responding to a statement by the owners of the port of Felixstowe that its recently introduced new terminal operating system (TOS) is now stable, Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) said that freight forwarders are still experiencing problems.
Namely, a number of freight forwarders face problems as there are shipping lines cancelling calls, or operating a cut-and-run policy, where the ship leaves before all containers that are booked are loaded, or discharged.
Robert Keen mentioned:
Previously BIFA has expressed its disappointment that the port authority, which owns Felixstowe has made it clear that it does not consider BIFA members to be direct customers of the port, and would not be willing to have a discussion about possible compensation for the damage caused and the increased costs that have been incurred by those members.
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BIFA said that “as the port authority produces a tariff detailing services being offered and the associated charges and then either invoices the freight forwarder directly for these charges or grants credit facilities, all the elements of a contract between the port authority and freight forwarders are in place.”
Nevertheless, the port authority does not accept this and is not discussing any kind of compensation for such a failure in customer service, the association concluded.