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Ro-Ro and Problems with Shipping

When I went to pick it up, there was an additional charge for $NZ 676 which I paid and then took possession of my truck.

And then . . .

since that time there has been emails and phone calls regarding further costs that I now need to pay. I have been requesting an invoice so that I could see what these costs were and it finally arrived today, 3 weeks after my truck arrived in NZ.

This is my first time bringing a vehicle into my country so I am not an expert on this but I am learning a lot as I go along.

Hoegh’s estimate of what I or somebody owes them is US$6,800.68 for extra costs, in addition to whatever other costs I have already paid them.

CRAZY!! Sounds like extortion to me . . .

From what I can see on the invoice,

– Hoegh’s BAF [Bunker Adjustment Factor) rate of 25.24 is not only far higher than any other shipper I have researched, but it is also higher than their stated rates as of July 2011. However, BAF was considered “inclusive” in my original quote and initial invoice.

– Hoegh wrongly estimated the size of my camper van and wants to charge extra for the assumed difference. They say its 74.086 but the dimensions are exactly 2.4 x 3.65 x 812 = 7117. This extra cost then upgrades all other costs based on the erroneous volume which makes it all balloon into a large and innaccurate sum of money.

– Hoegh will not acknowledge receipt of 438 Euros which I paid them in May as another “extra charges” bill for NZ$$676.89 from invoice #1611 .

– And as for the highly inflated charge over and above my initial quote, I have no idea what they are charging for because I was pretty sure I had paid everything.

So what I will probably do is ask them to refund the NZ$ 676, since they will not acknowlege its receipt. Then I might send them an exact photo of the truck so they can recalculate.

Above that, I dont think there is much I can do, except NOT shipping with Hoegh the next time.

Am I the only one who has run into this problem?

Related article on lack of transparency with BAF on Lloydslist.com

Lack of transparency in bunker adjustment factors can mean a difference of between $1,500 and $2,000 per unit, requiring a change in business model for many shippers to stay competitive (Oct, 27, 2011, Lloydslist.com/roro)

4 replies on “Ro-Ro and Problems with Shipping”

Yeah, I am pretty surprised at the nature of overseas shipping and how cowboy it all is I am sending them some questions to respond to regarding transparency. Not sure if they will respond but here are some of my questions:

– Is it legal to apply a higher BAF than what you publicly declare?
To what extent are BAF charges indiscriminate?
By that question, I mean, if someone at Hoegh was having a bad day, what regulations are currently in place to prevent that person adding an unexplainably high bunker factor adjustment? Or more specifically, do you think the Liner Block Exemption and Regulation 4056/86 is a opportunity for companies like Hoegh to write their own ticket?

– Should ro-ro shippers and cargo exporters trust their shipping company to measure the cargo correctly or must the customer take care of the measurements themselves?

– In a post-conference liner age where “price fixing” is the norm, should we continue to trust the shipping companies to regulate themselves or should we give greater power to the ELAA [European Liners Affairs Association) to regulate these financial instruments?

– The European Shippers’ Council have suggested that the way BAFs are determined is “opaque, without uniformity, and involves a significant element of revenue-making.” This is exactly the kind of opaqueness that caused Maersk to switch from BAF to SBF last month. I It appears that shipping companies in general are moving away from fuzzy charges and imbalanced scales towards greater transparency and benefit for all parties.

– Do you think Hoegh will be following its competitors in the near future to eradicate excessive revenue-making with opaque financial instruments like the BAF, for which Hoegh appears to have the highest rate in the world?

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