MSC Adds War Risk Surcharge on Cargo Bound for Venezuela

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s second largest liner, has imposed a war risk premium surcharge on all cargo bound for Venezuela “amid the imposition of sanctions related to Venezuela and the ongoing political volatility in that country”.

Effective July 4, MSC will implement the following surcharges on every shipment from the U.S. to Puerto Cabello and La Guaira:

  • $150 on 20-foot containers
  • $300 on 40-foot containers

The surcharges will be applied to every shipment in-gated on or after July 4, “regardless of time of sailing,” MSC announced.

While MSC is the only carrier so far to have levied a war risk surcharge against Venezuela, King Ocean Services and Hamburg Süd, a subsidiary of Maersk, have also added a general rate increase (GRI) of $1,200 per container on all cargo moving from the U.S. to Venezuela, effective May 15.  A spokesperson for Hamburg Süd said the GRI is required to offset escalating shipping costs to Venezuela.  “At Hamburg Sud, we have tried to contain the cost increases as much as we can, but [we] are forced to pass on at least a portion of these increases to our customers,” the spokesperson said.

The US Department of Treasury recently tightened oil sanctions against Venezuela in an effort to pressure President Nicolás Maduro to step down and to limit his government’s access to oil revenues.  U.S. National Security Affairs Adviser, John Bolton, said that “The US will continue tightening sanctions on oil and its derivatives until freedom and democracy are restored in Venezuela.





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