THE Malaysian Shipowners' Association (Masa) has once again refuted claims that the cabotage policy and shipping charges are the cause for the high cost of living in Sabah. It was responding to the Federation of Sabah Manufacturers' (FSM) complaints this time.
In a statement yesterday, Masa chairman Nordin Mat Yusoff said there was a distinct difference in what constituted ocean shipping cost and what is within the control of shipowners.
"The ocean shipping cost makes up less than half of the total landed transportation charges paid by shippers in Sabah. The remaining 50 per cent includes charges such as land transportation and storage," he said.
Nordin said that the ocean shipping charges had dropped by more than half a decade ago and that the rates were market-driven. He rejected claims by FSM that Masa was a cartel.
"There is simply no cartel in the trade because shipping lines serving the route do not collectively agree on ocean freight rates and shippers are free to choose the shipping line," Nordin said.
Source: Business Times