Ocean carriers are becoming creative with the names for huge surcharges they are loading on top of colossal FAK rates. The latest is Hapag-Lloyd’s ‘value-added surcharge’ ex China to the US and Canada. The carrier said this was due to “extraordinary demand from China and the operational challenges along the transport chain”.

“It’s outrageous, of course,” said anonymous contact. “But at least they tell you. Other lines don’t and we only find out when we try to book, and then it’s a ‘take it or leave’.”

And there is concern that all but the biggest businesses will be unable to absorb or pass on to their customers these massive freight cost increases.

The Loadstar