Vietnam probes sky-high box rates

Vietnam has become the latest country to take liners to task for the current sky high container freight rate scene.

The Vietnam Maritime Administration (VMA) has vowed to probe prices on the transpacific and Asia-Europe tradelanes, where costs to ship boxes have shot up to record levels in recent months.

“The continuous increase in freight rates and surcharges has caused many difficulties for businesses, increasing transportation and storage costs, affecting production and distribution of goods,” deputy head of the VMA Hoàng Hồng Giang told state-run media this week, going on to discuss the large number of containers being rolled and also arriving late at their planned destination.

The VMA is demanding liners be far more transparent with their rates and surcharges.

Last year, Vietnamese ports handled 14.65m teu, up 10.6%.

Many regulatory authorities including in China, the US and South Korea are also looking into liners’ pricing tactics in recent months, with the record shipping costs and concurrent supply chain glitches making regular mainstream headlines.

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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