Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Maersk to Add ‘One-Time’ Charge for Damaged Containers

You break it, you buy it. Or, at least, under a new Maersk Line container damage policy, you will pay a bit more to fix it.

Starting May 1, Maersk Line will begin charging an ‘out-of-service’ fee of $150 per dry container and $350 per reefer to cover additional costs associated with the repair of damaged containers.

Maersk had been absorbing these additional costs, which include lifting, transporting, repairing and various administration costs related to repairing a damaged container. 

Beginning in May, parties responsible for damaging containers will be billed for the ‘out-of-service’ costs, as well as for the actual costs or repairing the container. 

"We sincerely believe the ‘out-of-service’ charge is the fairest way to cover the costs of damaged containers -- as it means that only parties who are responsible for damage will have to shoulder the costs," said a spokesman for the shipping line.

‘Out-of-service’ charges were calculated to be as close as possible to the actual costs incurred by the company, said Maersk. Terms and timing of the new policy may differ slightly from country to country based on regional pricing schedules already in place. 

The new policy is expected to improve overall service, the shipping line said, by increasing equipment availability and reliability.