Several carriers have planned general rate increases in multiple trade lanes in May and June, although any gains achieved could be temporary as overcapacity and sluggish global demand continue.
Shipping lines in their global operations have lost billions of dollars in four of the past five years because of overcapacity fostered by a rash of orders for new, large container ships. 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.
The opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2016 is also expected to trigger a “massive” surplus of 4,000- to 5,000-TEU container ships, many of which will have to be scrapped regardless of their age, according to Drewry Maritime Research.
Latin America-Related Trade
Maersk Line hopes to boost rates on its trade from the Far East to the east coast of South America by $750 per 20-foot and non-operating refrigerated container and $1,500 per 40-foot and 40-foot high-cube container, effective May 15.
Similarly, Mediterranean Shipping Co. aims to raise rates on cargo from the Far East to South America’s east coast by $750 per 20-foot container and $1,500 per 40-foot container, starting May 15.
Cocso Container Lines, Hamburg Süd and Alianҫa announced the same rate hike last week.
Starting June 1, Hapag-Lloyd plans to implement a rate increase on shipments from Mexico to Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The hike will be $100 per 20-foot container and $200 per 40-foot container.
Hapag-Lloyd aims to increase rates on cargo from East Asia to the Persian Gulf, by $300 per TEU, starting May 15.
CMA CGM has scheduled a rate hike on its trade from Asia to Mozambique, effective May 15. The increase will be $150 per container.
U.S. Lines will postpone its previously announced trans-Pacific eastbound rate increase from May 1 to May 15. For shipments from Asia to the U.S. and Canada, the hike will be $320 per 20-foot container, $400 per 40-foot container and $450 per 40-foot high-cube container.
The Journal of Commerce