The liner THC – an epidemic or what?

Lately we – freight forwarders – have been overwhelmed with information from the container ship’s operator about introducing so called liner THC. First, I will explain what does THC stands for – THC is just the Terminal Handling Charges which include:

a) Export
Taking an empty container from the container depot
Transhipping a full container in the relation of: a vehicle -> a place
Transhipping a full container in the relation of: a place -> a ship board

b) Import
Transhipping a full container in the relation of: a ship board -> a place
Taking a full container from the port terminal to a vehicle
Transhipping an empty container in the relation of: a vehicle -> a place

In the case of the refrigerated containers the THC additionally involve plugging/unplugging a container to the port mains, and sometimes even, e.g. 24/48 h of refrigerating.
Until recently, freight forwarders account directly to the depot, terminal, etc. Each of the freight forwarders had his own discounts for a “cooperation” and thanks to them could generate an additional revenue for his company. Introducing the THC by the maritime shipping lines equals the opportunities for smaller and younger when talking about their market “seniority” with those bigger which have already managed to have adequate discounts, but on the other hand punishes those bigger and takes them back an opportunity to generate an additional revenue just from those discounts.
Is it good or bad? If a “bigger” freight forwarder shared those discounts with his customer so it is bad for this customer, because he will pay more now. If he did not shared… and one can list disadvantages and advantages of the liner THC. In any event, it meant the only one – AN INCREASE OF THE PRICE.

I remember a mess in the PIFFA members, and also among its members a few years ago when the MSC ship owner probably as the first one in Poland introduced the liner THC at the Baltic Container Terminal … and now? We will learn from the ship owner’s newsletter that… Just an increase of the price introduced by the back door. You will say, not large? O.K., but let us multiply that small amount by a number of transhipped containers … Does it make a higher amount? Yes, it makes a higher one.