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Surcharge imposed on Y2K hoarders

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Here's a good one from today's FT. Shipping lines working the Asia-Europe trade routes are to levy a millennium surcharge on freight carried before December 31. And European hoarders are to blame. They will stockpile "millennium related consumer items and computer equipment". This will feed through to a huge upswing in the numbers of containers" coming over to Europe. In turn this will stretch the resources of shipping lines, which will face extra costs in "repositioning empty containers". They will pass on these extra costs (and, no doubt, a little bit more)to the freight transport companies, through a millennium surcharge of $150 per 20ft container. The levy comes into force in the second half of the year. ®

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