Home » Breaking News, Maritime » PH carriers hold off on bunker fuel surcharge

The Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) has deferred its decision on the imposition of a bunker fuel surcharge (BFS) even with another increase in oil prices this week.

“We have yet to decide whether to impose a surcharge or not since we are still weighing its effect on each (shipping) line considering the big capacity surplus right now,” a PLSA source told PortCalls.

“A decision will be made after the secretariat finishes its computation and this will include past and possible future increases in fuel as well as other expenses,” the source who did not want to be named said.

“If any increase is imposed, it will cover both local cargo and foreign transit cargoes… (it won’t be) a BSF for each type of cargo.”

The source said maintaining current freight rates is still possible at this point due to thin cargo volumes.

Diesel pump prices currently range from P46-P47 per liter after another P0.90 per liter increase this week. Overall, diesel prices have jumped by around P2.40 per liter in the last 10 days brought about by continuing conflict in the Middle East. Oil firms have warned of more increases in the coming weeks.

Local shipping lines last adjusted their rates in February 2011 after imposing a more than 50% increase in BSF on foreign transit cargoes and eventually domestic cargoes.

PLSA admitted the increase affected cargo volume with shippers pooling cargoes to achieve economies of scale although modest volume growth was still achieved.

This year, PLSA member lines do not expect significant volume increases due to the continued anemic performance of the global economy.

Last year, PLSA members include Lorenzo Shipping Lines, NMC Container Lines, Oceanic Shipping Lines, Solid Shipping Lines and Negros Navigation and Philippine Span Asia Carrier.

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