Maersk to Boost Asia-Euro Box Rates Sharply

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

August 18, 2015

File Image (Maersk)

File Image (Maersk)

The world's largest container shipping company, Maersk Line, plans to raise spot freight rates sharply on main routes from ports in Asia to ports in northern Europe, with effect from Sep 1, the company said.

Spot rates for twenty foot equivalent unit containers (TEU) will rise by $1,000, Maersk Line wrote in a letter to customers last week.

The planned price hike corresponds to a 156 percent increase from current levels if implemented successfully. Container rates typically rise in big jumps announced by the shipping companies before gradually easing back over time.

According to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, twenty foot rates from Asia to Europe stood at $640 last week, which is widely seen as a loss-making level. [DI:nL5N10P1H3]

The announcement from Maersk Line, a unit in Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk followed similar plans from other major container shipping companies like Switzerland-based world number two Mediterranean Shipping Company and the third biggest player, French CMA CGM, which have announced rate hikes of $1,000 and $950 respectively.

Taiwanese Evergreen, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line and Japanese K Line have also said they intend to lift freight rates by $1,000.

A toxic mix of overcapacity, weak demand and aggressive pricing is depressing profits in the container shipping industry. Growth was once easily outpacing economic expansion but those heady days are a things of the past, Maersk Line Chief Executive Soren Skou told Reuters on Friday.


Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2019 - 80th Anniversary World Yearbook

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News