Sending goods out of Ecuador or importing them from other countries. but with Ecuador as a final destination, have jumped in cost in recent weeks. The reason given by the carriers is the high price of oil, causing the increase in shipping freight rates.
Depending on the destinations, space availability and other factors that affect transport, shipping rates have increased by up to 20% during the first quarter of 2012, said Ecuadorian businessmen.
The exporter Xavier Hervas said more routes are becoming more expensive including those to the United States and Europe. “The argument of carriers is that oil costs have increased, so they have to raise rates,” he added.
The banana sector stated that the increases began to be felt from February. Cecilio Jalil, of the Ecuadorian Banana Industry Association, said the price increases are caused by oil, but are also due to the increasing demand for space. A refrigerated container until earlier this year cost $4,000 for transport to outer countries, but now reaches $5,000.
Alex Kalil, president of the Association of Importers of Guayaquil said that in the first months of the year import levels are not as high compared to other months, as some businessmen have reserves of goods from last year, reducing the effect for the consumer.
Increase in the fuel surcharge
The movement in shipping freight rates is being channeled through a line item for the fuel surcharge.
Emilio Aguilar, president of the Ecuadorian Chamber of Shipping, said the perceived increase is due to the fuel surcharge that is linked to rising oil prices.
“Oil costs rise in winter and the expectation is that it has risen more than expected and that requires carriers to reconsider the surcharge,” said Aguiar, who estimated that the costs can reach up to 15%. But Aguiar was not very concerned and said that these price levels “will not greatly affect trade,” because, he says, they do not reach the levels of previous periods.
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