Home » Breaking News, Maritime » More carriers announce rate hikes on Asia-Europe trade

The number of carriers eyeing rate hikes on the Asia-Europe trade lanes just got higher as Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and Zim Integrated Shipping join other box ships in issuing advice on impending general rate increases (GRIs) and revenue restoration programs.

OOCL said that freight rate from Asia to Europe will increase by US$800 per 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU).

The increase, effective March 1, covers shipments from the Far East (except Japan) to North Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea.

The ocean freight rate for the Asia-Europe trade continues to fall below the required level to cover basic operating costs, OOCL explained of the hike in a February 3 statement. “Considering that the current level is unsustainable for the long term, we are announcing a revenue restoration program in order to maintain a viable service level.”

The announcement comes after the Hong Kong-based shipping company said it would raise freight rates by $200 per container moving from North Europe to Asia from 15 February.

Israeli shipping firm Zim, meanwhile, announced a rate increase of $750 per TEU on the Asia and Indian subcontinent westbound trade from March 1, saying the update was necessary to maintain current levels of service and high reliability.

The GRI applies to all cargo from Asia and the Indian subcontinent to North Europe, West/East Mediterranean (including Israel), and the Black Sea, Zim said on February 5.

Earlier, Korea’s Hanjin Shipping also disclosed plans to push rate increases on the Asia-Europe lanes. From March 1, a $700 rate hike per TEU will be imposed between Asia (excluding Japan) and North Europe and the Mediterranean. The carrier will also set a $1,400 GRI for every 40-foot equivalent unit (FEU), including dry containers, reefers, and special containers.

Copenhagen-based Maersk Line is also poised to impose a rate increase of $775 from  March 1 on the Asia-Europe route for all dry and reefer cargo shipped from Asia to North Europe and the Mediterranean

Hapag-Lloyd of Germany has taken a similar move to up rates, announcing a $750 freight rate increase per TEU from East Asia, except Japan, to Europe. The rate hike will be in effect from March 1.

Last month, CMA CGM has announced increases between the Far East and most trades between February and March.

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