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Asian shippers see red at lines with ‘attitude’ on THC debate

by Rahita Elias

Today's proposed meeting between the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) and Asian shippers was cancelled following what the shippers called the lines' 'high-handed attitude'.

The Federation of Asean Shippers Councils (FASC) was meant to discuss the terminal handling charge (THC) component list presented to shippers recently.

However, the FASC said: 'While both parties had the intention of holding this meeting, it could not proceed because of TSA's high-handed attitude, which the FASC finds unacceptable.'

Meanwhile a meeting with the Intra-Asia Discussion Agreement (IADA) did go ahead on April 27 and it saw the lines agree to disagree on the subject of THCs.

The shippers association noted that while the meeting was positive, the two parties 'did not make much progress on the THC issue. Between the two organisations, we have agreed to disagree.'

FASC, however, said that IADA, under its new leader CC Chen, had assured the shippers' group that there would be continuing dialogue between the two groups. Subjects that would be discussed include maritime security, EDI, port efficiencies and port tariffs.

FASC added that it subscribed to the principle of constructive engagement, saying: 'As users, we are wholly in favour of having dialogue with our service providers as long as discussions between the parties are conducted in a reasonable manner, with the aim of fostering a mutually beneficial partnership.

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