Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shippers Cautious Over Call for Tighter Contracts with Shipping Lines

(International Freighting Weekly – Damian Brett)

It may be difficult for shippers to provide accurate long-term predictions on when, and how many, containers are to be shipped

Contracts between shippers and carriers should be tightened up, but it will be difficult for shippers to provide accurate data on when and in what quantity containers will be shipped.

European Shippers’ Council (ESC) Secretary General Nicolette van der Jagt said she supported carrier calls for tighter contracts between shippers and carriers, after Maersk Line CEO Eivind Kolding last week said contracts contained too much leeway that left both parties unclear about what had been agreed. Kolding pointed out that a contract may commit a shipping line to carry 5,000 boxes a year from China to Europe, but often it was not clear if that meant 100 boxes a week, or 50 one week and 150 the next, or where the containers would be shipped from.

And van der Jagt said some ESC members had taken the initiative to work on standard contract clauses that were more formal than used today. Read more here.