Skycargo, the cargo arm of Dubai-based Emirates, is reportedly in the process of introducing a new, all-in pricing structure that would eliminate the present setup of a base rate plus surcharges for fuel and security, according to a report in Cargoforwarder Global.
The new pricing is said to also, occasionally, eliminate other criteria such as volume.
The report cites a letter from the carrier to its customers dated 31 December, saying the new structure, which will be in the form of a single charge consisting of a combination of the weight-based rate plus the current fuel and security surcharges, will be implemented on flights to/from Europe beginning 1 February, and on all other flights beginning 1 March.
Forwarders have been calling for a return to an all-in rate almost since the beginning of the surcharge era – not least because surcharges were excluded from their commissions – and will undoubtedly be pleased with the move. Whether other carriers will follow remains to be seen, but they will almost certainly come under pressure from forwarders and shippers to do so.
Also remaining to be seen is what will happen if the price of oil suddenly jumps. With oil now down to less than $50 per barrel, the need for a fuel surcharge has disappeared. However, it was a rapid increase in oil prices that moved carriers to instigate a surcharge in the first place.