Maersk, Major Shippers Hike Gulf-bound Box Rates
A.P. Moller-Maersk have joined other major container shipping companies in increasing prices for sending containers into the Persian Gulf in response to the heightened risk of military conflict in the area.
Attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last month drove up oil prices and raised concerns about a U.S.-Iranian confrontation.
The United States has blamed Iran for the attacks, although Tehran has denied the accusation.
"Due to recent unexpected and very significant increases in key factors impacting shipping operational costs in the Arabian Persian Gulf, Maersk is implementing an emergency risk charge globally that applies to all cargo to and from the Arabian Persian Gulf," Copenhagen-based Maersk said in a statement late on Thursday.
Maersk, the world's biggest container shipper, said it would charge an extra $42 per 20-foot container for shipments to some ports in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq and Oman.
Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), French-based CMA CGM, APL, the container shipping unit of Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) and German container group Hapag-Lloyd, all informed customers earlier this week that they would raises prices.
Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen