Ocean Network Express (ONE) issued a notice to customers on February 14 noting that “due to the slow inbound container pick-up activity caused by the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus and the extension of the Lunar New Year holidays, some Chinese terminals, especially Xingang (Tianjin) and Shanghai are already facing a serious shortage of available reefer plugs.”
ONE said that a result it may need to adjust the original transportation plan for reefer shipments to these Chinese terminals.
“In such cases,” said the notice, “this may result in the discharge of reefer containers at an alternative port without prior notice. Where operationally viable, and in an effort to minimize loss and inconvenience, ONE shall endeavor to arrange onward transportation from the alternative discharge port to the originally intended destination subject to reefer plug availability. In an effort not to compound the operational constraints and to maintain the safest operation possible under these circumstances, ONE will encourage customers to consider a change of destination to other alternative ports, especially for time-sensitive cargoes such as fresh, chilled commodities.
“At the same time, ONE has decided to apply a congestion surcharge (CGD) of USD 1,000 per container to cover additional costs related to the unexpected but necessary arrangement of shipments and associated plug-in charges, monitoring fees etc.
“This measure is effective immediately for all Reefer cargo arriving into Shanghai and Xingang from 15th February 2020 onwards, and for regulated trades the effective date will be 14th March 2020 until further notice.”