Multiple carriers have scheduled general rate increases in various trade lanes in May, June and July, although any gains achieved could be fleeting as overcapacity and sluggish global demand continues.
Although only four carriers in the world today have ships of 18,000 TEUs or larger either in operation or on order, more container lines may join the mega-ship club in the future as they seek to remain cost-competitive.
Rate competition is expected to intensify in coming months, as the launch of the P3 Network could lead to cargo shifts between alliances and carriers, according to Alphaliner.
On the backhaul route, Maersk Line plans to boost rates on shipments from North Europe, including Russia and Scandinavia, to the Far East, including Japan, by $100 per 20-foot container and $200 per 40-foot container, effective May 1.
Maersk plans to hike rates on cargo from the Far East to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, effective May 1:
- For shipments to the Middle East, the hike will be $500 per 20-foot container and $1,000 per 40-foot and 45-foot container.
- For shipments to the Indian subcontinent, the increase will be $200 per 20-foot, 40-foot and 45-foot container.
On the same date, Hapag-Lloyd intends to boost rates on shipments from East Asia, excluding Japan, to the Persian Gulf by $300 per TEU.
CMA CGM has scheduled a rate increase on cargo from Asia to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Ain Sukhna, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; Djibouti; Port Sudan; and Aden and Hodeidah, Yemen. The increase will be $300 per TEU, starting May 15.
Latin America-Related Trade
Effective May 15, Cosco Container Lines hopes to boost rates on its trade from the Far East to South America’s east coast. The hike will be $750 per 20-foot container and $1,500 per 40-foot and 40-foot high-cube container.
Maersk aims to implement a rate increase of $400 per container on cargo from the River Plate (on the border between Argentina and Uruguay) and Brazil to the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, beginning May 15.
Maersk also has planned rate increases on cargo moving between the east coast of South America and Europe and the Mediterranean.
- Effective May 15, for shipments from North Europe to the east coast of South America, the hike will be €200 per TEU.
- On the same date, for shipments from the Mediterranean to the east coast of South America, the increase will be €100 per TEU.
- Starting June 1, for shipments from the east coast of South America to Europe and the Mediterranean, the hike will be $400 per container.
Hamburg Süd and Alianҫa plan to implement a two-stage rate increase on shipments from Asia to South America’s east coast:
- Starting May 15, the hike will be $750 per 20-foot container, $1,500 per 40-foot container and $1,000 per 40-foot non-operated refrigerated container and reefer container.
- Effective June 1, the increase will be $500 per 20-foot container, non-operated reefer container and reefer container, and $1,000 per 40-foot container.
In addition, Maersk has scheduled a rate hike of $700 per 20-foot container and $1,000 per 40-foot and 40-foot high-cube container on shipments from the Far East to the Caribbean, effective June 1.
Maersk hopes to raise rates on its trade from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea to Australia by $500 per 20-foot container and $1,000 per 40-foot and 40-foot high-cube container, starting May 15.
Increased cascading of larger ships from east-west to north-south trades has pummeled Asia-Australia rates in particular in recent months, and as a result, carriers are increasingly trying to force up rates through general rate increases in this trade lane.
Hapag-Lloyd and U.S. Lines have both scheduled a rate increase of $250 per 20-foot container and $500 per 40-foot container on cargo from the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand, effective July 1.
The Journal of Commerce