Ocean Freight Rates Rising

Europe-North American trade is the most recent to have a boost in container shipping costs.

Uniformly as they announced price increases the ocean carriers claim experiencing “rate levels that are unacceptable for the rest of 2009.” In this economic climate in which not even variable transportation costs are covered, the shipping lines are seeking to “restore freight rates to sustainable levels.”

In announcing its increased rates, Hanjin Shipping said the decision was necessary for it to continue to provide top quality service to customers. Effective April 1, rates will climb for trade between Far East/South East Asia and North Europe/Mediterranean—up $300 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) and $600 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU). The rise in rates from the Indian Sub Continent/Middle East to North Europe and the Mediterranean is $200 per TEU and $400 per FEU. Hanjin also will be increasing Transatlantic Service charges, up $150 per TEU and $225 per FEU for West Bound trade and $100 per TEU and $150 per FEU, East Bound.

In addition to rate increases for cargo moving from Italy, Spain and Portugal to the US, Maersk Line announced a rate restoration program effective April 1 for freight between Asia and South America’s East Coast and between Asia and the West Coast of South and Central America as well as the Caribbean. Maersk has also increased it rates for Eastbound service from Northern Europe, North Africa and the Mediterranean to the Middle East and South Asia, a boost of $20 per TEU and $100 for a FEU. For service between Asia (except Taiwan) and Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, the carrier will increase rates in two stages, on April 1 and then July 1.

As with Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Co. has increased its rates from Italy, Spain and Portugal to the US, up $200 per TEU and $250 per FEU. For all cargo moving from Europe to the US, the general rate increase is $160 per TEU and $200 per FEU.

APL has implemented a rate increase for its Asia-Europe trade. Eastbound from Europe to Asia the boost in cost is $175 per container for paper and scrap and $100 per container for all other commodities. For Westbound trade, the increase is $250 per TEU, effective April 1.

CMA CGM is seeking rate restoration for its Asia-Europe, Latin America, Caribbean, Transatlantic and India/Pakistan-Europe trade effective April 1. On May 1, the shipping line will boost its Transpacific rates. Eastbound and Westbound Transatlantic rates will climb $160 per TEU and $220 per FEU. The largest increase will be in Westbound Asia-Europe cargo that will move up $350 per TEU and $700 per FEU. Eastbound traffic in the Europe-Asia lane will climb $100 per TEU and $150 per FEU.

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