Shipping companies received a notice from shipping lines Wednesday informing them that the war risk surcharge on shipments to Israel would be hiked more than tenfold to hundreds of dollars, effectively raising the price of sending containers to the country.
Prior to the notice - which reflects the decision of London-based insurance companies - the amount paid was "minuscule," said Zvi Fink of Globus International Packing, Shipping and Moving.
Until the situation calms and the premium is reduced, a 20-foot container holding about 30 cubic meters from the US will be subject to a $180 surcharge, while a 40-foot container with twice the capacity will pay $360, for instance. Customers sending small containers from Australia will pay $220 while those sending from Mediterranean ports will hand over an extra $135 and those from Odessa an additional $170. Those sending big containers will pay double.
Some shipping lines will begin charging the fee immediately, while others will wait until Monday, according to the notice, Fink said.
Unfortunately for olim, such charges are always borne by the customer, Fink added, noting that olim are liable to undergo one more "culture shock" from the addition, since it is also likely their first and only encounter with the shipping world.
Although customers may complain about the surprise surcharge, "not everything is foreseeable, so people should carefully read their contracts to know what is included [in the agreed price of the move] and what is not," Fink advised.
Further costs likely to be added to the final amount paid per container could include fees for ships waiting out at sea, or for storage at the port. Also, the shipping line could prematurely "end the voyage" at another port, requiring the customer to pay for an additional leg of the voyage, Fink added.