Lines try to push through 156% rate hike to Europe

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.








Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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