Rotterdam Short Sea Terminals (RST) has introduced an „emergency surcharge” of 4.50 euros per ‘quay move’ since today. The fee applies for moving a container into or out of a vessel, reports Nieuwsblad Transport.
A spokesperson at RST confirmed the news to Trans.INFO and explained that the surcharge required to be introduced to offset the increasing operational costs due to staffing difficulties RST recently faces and various COVID-19 containment restrictions and regulations issued by governmental authorities.
Operating costs have significantly risen since last year due to coronavirus. Partly because RST personnel got infected by COVID, but also because of the limited availability of temporary personnel and workers, and also because the company had to implement additional health and safety measures at the terminal.
The reason why the surcharge is introduced now, not over the pandemic is simple: RST experienced a sharp increase in absenteeism over the last few months.
Also, the company has quite an extensive trainee programme but trainees have not been allowed to work due to COVID restrictions since last summer.
RST’s main markets are the UK and Ireland but the clientele ranges from Iberia, Portugal and Spain, to Scandinavia, up to the Baltics and St Petersburg. The company has existing stevedoring contracts in place with their customers, but the 4.50 euros of emergency surcharge is an addition to the existing service agreements.