Thumbs up for Emirates’ all-in freight rates

Shippers and forwarders have welcomed Emirates SkyCargo’s move to introduce an all-inclusive freight rate that does away with separate pricing components based on weight/volume plus fuel and security surcharges.
“It is the best start to 2015 that I could imagine,” said Joost van Doesburg, airfreight policy manager with the European Shippers’ Council, adding: “We can only be happy that the biggest air cargo carrier in the world has decided to make the system much simpler.”
Lucas Kuehner, global head of air freight at forwarder Panalpina said: “We welcome any simplification of the pricing structure and have long since asked airlines to rid themselves of surcharges.
“This is about going back to basics and what our customers want since they look at all-in cost when making freight decisions. So we appreciate Emirates’ step and encourage other carriers to do the same.”
Robert Keen, director general of The British International Freight Association (BIFA) welcomed the Dubai-based carrier’s move as "a step in the right direction, provided it leads to the transparency that freight forwarders require".
He added that he felt that the move should: "provide simpler and more transparent cost structures, something that freight forwarders have been calling for, having faced various surcharges with questionable names and purposes from shipping lines and airlines.
"Perhaps Emirates Skycargo is responding to previous comments that freight forwarders stop accepting at face value opaque and unjustified surcharges."
The new structure will be implemented in Europe from February, and for the rest of the Emirates worldwide network from March.
An Emirates SkyCargo spokesperson said: “For some time now, many of our customers have asked for the introduction of an all-inclusive rate structure.
“We have therefore decided to introduce a new rate structure which will be a combination of a weight related rate and the current fuel and security surcharge. We believe that this new structure will be simpler, and is a positive development in the way tariffs are applied”.
Van Doesburg warned: “If only one airline will push all-in rates in the market then it is not a success, so we need more airlines to follow the Emirates example.”
He added that the ending of surcharges was important because “it probably makes the air cargo market much more stable, with fewer fluctuations.”
Van Doesburg continued: “For the shippers it will make cost more predictable because, at the moment, they cannot tell their financial people what they need for the transport of a certain amount of goods. It will also bring comparability.
“The security and fuel surcharges are from the past and removing them is the way to go.  Why do you need to have a special surcharge for security, when that issue has been dominant for more than a decade?
"And as for fuel, the airlines should be able to determine their rates for a longer period of time with a fixed rate. That is what shippers want and what they already get from the integrators.”

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