SUNBIZ

Lin: Tariff Increase Poses Threat To Transhipment

Fiji may be at risk of losing a number of shipping lines which use Fiji for transhipment purposes. This was revealed by the Fiji Ship Owners and Agency Association chairperson,
26 Aug 2015 09:49
Lin: Tariff Increase Poses Threat To Transhipment
Ngankin arrived at the Port of Suva on August 22. She was travelling from Noumea, New Caledonia with 21 crew members. She discharged a total of 304 tons and loaded a total of 135 tons. Ngankin arrived at the Port of Suva on August 22. She was travelling from Noumea, New Caledonia with 21 crew members. She discharged a total of 304 tonnes and loaded a total of 135 tonnes.

Fiji may be at risk of losing a number of shipping lines which use Fiji for transhipment purposes.

This was revealed by the Fiji Ship Owners and Agency Association chairperson, Jeffrey Lin.

Mr Lin said the indications come after the new port fees and charges were announced two weeks ago and which came into effect on Monday August 24.

Mr Lin said it has come to a stage now where some of the member lines which have transhipment lines are looking elsewhere.

“We are now at a threat of losing that (transhipment) to Apia and Noumea,” he said.

“I believe there are certain shipping lines that are looking at pulling that away from Fiji because of the revised tariffs.”

Fiji Ports Corporation chief executive, Vajira Piyasena, said they have no information on this as it was coming more from the shipping lines. But, he said the increases were necessary as a matter of improving services and infrastructure which then required some increases in prices and some adjustments.

“We have not done any adjustments for the past five years or beyond, so that is why some investment have to be done,” he said.

“Otherwise the review should take place once every two years but we have not done that.”

 

Volume

Mr Lin revealed transhipment volume throughput for the first six months of this year through Fiji Ports accounted to about 19 per cent of total imports into Fiji.

These are imports which pass our ports and are either destined for Fiji or being shipped off again to other Pacific Island countries.

“So transhipment accounts for 19 per cent of cargo throughput and there is a risk we may lose that to our neighbouring countries,” he said.

Mr Lin stressed this in particular foes not auger well for Fiji when we are trying to push Fiji as the hub of the Pacific.

He said such increases in port fees and charges and the quantum of increases are working against that.

“So I believe some of the lines are seriously considering reviewing that as well,” he said.

The main thing for the association right now is to get their heads around the increases. Mr Lin said it is important to look at how best they, as an association or individual agents and lines, can mitigate the increases.

Feedback: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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