The imposition of higher maximum fees under a simplified all-inclusive freight and delivery order fee was also welcomed. Under the new regulation, disputes will be handled by a Recommendation Committee which would give a fair hearing to all sides of the issue. Stakeholders called for wider communication and enforcement of the new regulation.
JAAF Secretary General Tuli Cooray noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused an uncertain situation and that firms were operating under non-normal circumstances. He however wanted all stakeholders to acknowledge that there was pain at all sections of the economy and that a lot of industries were not able to cope with rising costs. Cooray noted that the intervention by the Merchant Shipping Secretariat was done after several incidents of companies being strong-armed by logistics providers.
Cooray was speaking on June 29 at a Sri Lanka Shippers Council webinar on the recent changes.
Under the new regulation, the maximum delivery order fee for a full container load will be Rs 11,000 while for a loose container load will be Rs 12,500. Deposits for containers can be obtained by they must be returned to the importer within 30 days of return of the container. Logistics providers were wary of potential damage to containers and the ability to collect on the subsequent liability.
Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders Association Vice-Chairman Dinesh Chandrasekara welcomed the move as it brought order to the industry and helped streamline practices.
Chandrasekara noted that there were many players in the industry and some of them were not part of SLFFA.
All complaints of non-compliance with the guideline should be forwarded to [email protected] for prompt action by the Recommendation Committee.