4 February 2019
by MULUKEN YEWONDWOSSEN
The Danish logistics giant, Maersk has introduced new schemes as of Friday February 1, on unloading services at the port of Djibouti which will impose additional charges on Ethiopian cargo.The company, which is one of the logistics partners for Ethiopian cargo announced that it has applied Recovery for Handling Imports (RHI) on incoming containerized cargos arriving at Djibouti. Based on this new rule imported cargos will be charged USD 133 and USD 166 for every 20 foot and 40 foot container respectively.In its announcement Maersk stated “to ensure continuity of the Maersk service standards and maintain exceptional customer experience in Djibouti, we would therefore like to inform you of the need for recovering part of the cost associated with the terminal operations of loading and unloading containers from vessels.”
As a result, the company said that effective February 1, 2019, Maersk Djibouti SARL will start invoicing as part of the local charges to its customers a new line item referred to as “Recovery for Handling Imports or RHI”, which will be applied to all containers discharged from that date. “The recovery for handling will be applied only for imports and will be on a per container basis,” it stated.
Experts in the sector said that the additional cost on imported goods will be another burden for the country particularly the end users in Ethiopia, which is the main port user in Djibouti.
Daniel Zemichael, a logistics expert and owner and Chief Executive of Freighters International Plc, told Capital that these types of charges are common in the global logistics sector. He said that carriers or liners like Maersk paid at the port in Djibouti and now the liner has transferred the cost onto the customers.
“It is international trade but it is a high rate for Ethiopia that may affect the market locally,” he said.
Experts in Djibouti stated that the international liner should give an explanation for its surprise additional tariff to its customers who use ports in Djibouti. An expert at one of the ports in Djibouti said the price increase by Maersk is occurring without any tariff change at the ports in Djibouti.
In its statement Maersk said that the recovery for handling will be applied for imports from the rest of the world into Djibouti and invoiced as RHI; the recovery for handling will be collected in Djibouti for all imports, “the recovery for handling is a pure pass-through charge at cost and not intended to be used for profit increase beyond the cost levels. Neither is it an effect of any new increase in government fees.”
“We would request your understanding and cooperation to join our efforts in ensuring future container shipping investments to meet the rising needs of both Djibouti and Ethiopia,” it added.
According to the announcement the rates are also subject to other applicable surcharges, OF (Ocean Freight), OHC (Origin Terminal Handling Charge), DHC (Destination Terminal Handling Charge), ERS (Emergency Risk Surcharge), SBF (Standard Bunker Adjustment Factor), LSS (Low Sulphur Surcharge) and PSS (Peak Season Surcharge), including local charges and contingency charges.