BIMCO and Global Shipping Forum launch new standard service level agreement for liner trade

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BIMCOBIMCO and the Global Shipping Forum have now launched a new standard contract – named “SERVICECON” – which simplifies and harmonises terms and conditions for container volume contracts between shippers and carriers.

The new agreement is designed to meet the contractual needs of small to medium sized shippers, which, despite the large number and global value of the shipments they transport, often lack the legal resources to develop their own agreements with carriers.

Following a two-year period of discussions between carrier and shipper representatives, the BIMCO/GSF SERVICECON Standard Service Contract has been developed to provide a basis for container volume agreements. It provides a comprehensive starting point for negotiations and helps to smooth and speed up the contractual process. Shippers and carriers can amend the contract to suit their individual commercial needs, providing the flexibility needed for making commercial agreements.

Grant Hunter, Chief Officer Legal and Contractual Affairs at BIMCO, said: “We are delighted to have worked together with GSF to produce this new standard service agreement that will benefit the industry by its simple wording and fair reflection of the interests of shippers and carriers.

“It has been designed to be used as a framework container volume service-level agreement for the liner trades – and to be adaptable for commercial parties’ individual needs and circumstances.

“Whilst we expect this to be of great value to small and medium sized shippers – we expect that many larger multi-national shippers may find it useful for contracts that fall outside their usual scope.”

Søren Larsen, Deputy Secretary General at BIMCO said: “This service agreement represents a milestone in BIMCO’s documentary work as it is the first time that we have entered into an agreement with an organisation like the Global Shipping Forum – which