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Citing coronavirus, ONE and CMA CGM institute reefer congestion surcharges

Citing growing supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus in China, Japanese liner Ocean Network Express (ONE) is instituting a $1,000 congestion surcharge for reefer boxes arriving into Shanghai and Tianjin. The ONE news follows hot on the heels of France’s CMA CGM enacting a similar charge.

In a note to clients, ONE stated: “Due to the slow inbound container pick-up activity caused by the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus and the extension of the Lunar New Year holidays, some Chinese terminals, especially Xingang (Tianjin) and Shanghai are already facing a serious shortage of available reefer plugs.”

ONE said it may need to adjust the original transportation plan for reefer shipments to Shanghai and Tianjin. In such cases, this may result in the discharge of reefer containers at an alternative port without prior notice. Where operationally viable, ONE said it would try to arrange onward transportation from the alternative discharge port to the originally intended destination subject to reefer plug availability.

ONE is encouraging customers to consider a change of destination to other alternative ports, especially for time-sensitive cargoes such as fresh, chilled commodities.

CMA CGM’s new reefer charge is $250 more than ONE’s – and in its note to clients last week, as well as Shanghai and Tianjin, the Marseille also cited reefer plug shortages at Ningbo.

The US Poultry & Egg Export Council said last week that Chinese ports have run out of space for refrigerated containers and ships carrying reefers of chicken from the United States to China are being diverted to ports in Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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