Booking Cancellation Fee / Premium Rates / IPI Service at Risk
As you are aware, steamship lines are currently charging premiums on top of the normal ocean rate to increase the chances that a full container (FCL) booking request will be accepted, and space be allocated to overseas shippers. C J has received news from our overseas agents, primarily those located in China and other Asian ports, that steamship lines will begin assessing fees if bookings are made but suppliers are not able to meet the timeline of these bookings. The carrier fee reported to C J varies from $250 to the full amount of the ocean freight rate, including the premium charge. The fee would be billed to the consignee. If the booking is rolled due to the steamship line not being able to provide equipment / space per the agreed upon booking, the cancellation fee would not apply. We encourage all Clients to work very closely with their suppliers to ensure that the ready dates are accurate to help avoid any changes or cancellations of bookings which could result in cancellation / change fees.
We have also received notification that many of the steamship lines may begin requiring pre-payment of ocean freight charges at the time the booking is being made overseas. Currently, the carriers intend to collect pre-payment on premium bookings, but that may change. If the steamship lines do require pre-payment of ocean freight charges, then C J will be forced to invoice the ocean freight charges to our Clients at the time of booking, rather than at the time of delivery of the freight to the client/consignee.
We have also received news that some ocean carriers have stopped Interior Point Intermodal (IPI) full container service. Obviously, this will add an additional burden to an already stressed ocean / rail / drayage network. C J International, through our domestic network of agents, has access to warehouses that can transload containers for movement inland via full truckload. C J will do its best, working with these warehouses, to minimize any delays incurred to our Clients. Because of the additional handling involved with transloading of freight from FCL to FTL for inland, cross country transport, as well as the increase in transit time from origin, we strongly encourage our Clients to obtain full coverage marine cargo insurance, whether through C J or their own insurance provider. Please contact your local C J representative for a door-to-door insurance quote before your next container is loaded.