Despite Asia-Europe container trades being in the severe doldrums, near record lows, the world’s largest boxline is trying to push through an improbable 156% increase in freight rates from Asia to North Europe from September 1.
Maersk Line told customers in a memo last week seen by Reuters that it was looking to raise rates on the tradelane by $1,000 per teu.
According to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, rates on this tradelane currently stand at a loss making $640 per teu.
Maersk is not alone in trying to push through big rates hikes. MSC and CMA CGM have announced hikes of $1,000 and $950 respectively. Smaller lines Evergreen, OOCL and K Line have also pushed for $1,000 increases.
Commenting on the planned rate rises, Lars Jensen from container analysts SeaIntel said they were doable.
“On the Asia-Europe trade it appears the price volatility is getting to a point where [general rate increases] are typically at the $1000 range – although not necessarily 100% effective – but over the past six weeks, the average rate erosion has been at a level approaching minus $200 per week, meaning that $1,000 increases do not last very long,” Jensen told Splash. Jensen is also writes about the container trades for Splash‘s sister title, Maritime CEO.