Carriers impose it unilaterally without any negotiation with shippers and ignore a market approach to the global problem,

...ESC noted in an official statement.

The IMO 2020 sulphur cap regulation mandates that ships must run on fuel containing no more than 0.5% sulphur, when the current limit outside designated Emission Control Areas (ECAs) is 3.5%. This brings additional costs for shipowners who have to choose between the expensive environmentally compliant fuel or investment on scrubbers.

A new bunker adjustment factor launched by Maersk aims at covering additional costs that will arise from the upcoming global sulphur regulations. Meanwhile, other shipping majors, like MSC and CMA CGM, have recently announced plans that follow the same direction.

This does not set an ideal cooperation scenario. ESC is monitoring, through its National Councils, all current actions related to bunker surcharges and their consequences in the operational field. ESC encourages shipping liners to negotiate all freight costs with shippers to come to an agreement satisfying both sides.

ESC further underlined that within the new commercial framework of logistics stakeholders, the imposition of bunker surcharges restrains cooperation and lacks transparency.

What is most important, it decreases potential innovative solutions and results in a low acceptance by shippers. However, ESC believes that a dialogue is indispensable in reaching a mutually satisfying agreement.

In a recent statement, GSF announced its disappointment by the lack of negotiation and the timing and the structure of Maersk's charge and called the company to consult with customers and reconsider their strategy.