Historically, Shipping Lines required transport companies to de-hire empty containers at empty container yards. Shipping Lines held the empty containers at empty container yards and paid the cost of storing them there (lifts & storage), and when necessary, they arranged and transported the empty containers back to ship, paying the transport cost to move them from the empty container yard to the ship. Typically Shipping Lines paid $100-200 per container to empty container yards for the above process.
Recently, most Shipping Lines have changed their operations with empty containers and now most Shipping Lines (and soon likely all Shipping Lines) by-pass the empty container yards by instructing the trucking company to deliver their empty containers directly to ship (wharves). This change of practice has transferred the cost of this activity from the Shipping Lines to the Container Transport Companies. This change of practice has caused substantial operational cost increases on the transport companies such as Mondiale VGL. Reasons for the operational cost increases include;
- After unloading at customers premises the empty container can no longer be directly de-hired at an empty container yard, it must be transported back to Mondiale VGL’s intermodal terminal, lifted off the truck and stored in a container stack until a wharf slot can be booked.
- It is impossible to match the customer unloading times with empty wharf slot times due to the unavailability of matched wharf time slots.
- The empty container must be stored at Mondiale VGL’s intermodal terminal while Mondiale VGL spends hours trying to obtain a slot to be able to de-hire the container back to ship. Often slots are obtained at night which causes night shift expenses to be incurred (additional 30%).
- Once a slot is obtained the empty container must be “dug out” of the empty stacks (due to the slotting process and container detention Mondiale VGL cannot pick from the front of the empty stacks).
- The process has caused increased congestion at our intermodal terminals. It can now take 2-3 days to de-hire empty containers.
- Heightened risk of container detention being incurred by Mondiale VGL.
- A Border Force PRA is often required to be processed by Mondiale VGL to enable container de-hire to occur.
Mondiale VGL has no alternative but to pass on the cost of this change of practice on to our customers.