Plunging rates for chartering container vessels that carry consumer goods means a slowdown and losses for shipping lines in what is traditionally their busiest time of the year, according to a report on Bloomberg.com.
As reported earlier today on MarineLink.com, MOL has revised its FY2011 downward, projecting a revenue drop of 6.3% from previous guidance.
According to the Bloomberg report, fees for hiring vessels have fallen 9.3 percent since the end of April, citing the Howe Robinson Container Index. Last year, the index surged 56 percent in the period, as lines added ships on demand from U.S. and European retailers restocking for the back-to-school and holiday shopping periods.
Lines have also delayed the introduction of peak-season surcharges, and combined inbound container traffic at Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two busiest U.S. ports, dropped 4.6 percent last month, according to the Bloomberg report.