Following the announcement made two weeks ago by member lines of the Europe/Mediterranean Trade Agreement (EMTA) that they had agreed to slash port of Ashdod congestion surcharge from 7% to 3.5%, the port of Ashdod chair person Mrs. Iris Shtark said the port would continue with its efforts to further reduce the surcharge.
The decision to slash the surcharge is seen as a victory for the Israel Shipper's Council and the Ashdod port management who protested for the last several weeks to Mr. Peter Webber, Manager EMTA Europe Mediterranean Trade Agreement concerning the wrongful collection of congestion surcharge in Ashdod Port.
Mr. Peter Webber, EMTA secretary, who announced the decision said that reduced congestion rate is a direct result of increased efficiency of the port in handling containerships. Webber noted, however, that since the Eitan port was unable to handle ships with capacity exceeding TEU 3,000, make it impossible to waive the surcharge. The management of EMTA would re-consider the situation again at the end of December.
Shtark who could not accept EMTA's arguments for not waving the surcharge said that the new Eitan port can handle 4,000 TEU capacity ships. She added that turnaround time and efficiency had been improved dramatically over the last months. She emphasized that the port would fight the decision until the surcharged was waved.