THE international container shipping industry may expect better returns this year on the back of improved freight rates, according to an executive of Maersk Filipinas, Inc. (MFI).
The local subsidiary of Maersk Group, the largest international carrier in the world, MFI said freight rates last year were not too favorable and have stunted growth in container shipping.
Sune Stilling, senior general manager of MFI for marketing, communication and branding in the Southeast Asia area, said the company is happy with the present rate structure.
He added there are several other increases expected for the rest of the year that will give shipping lines even more room to grow. “We are looking at a restoration program in freight rates to have a reasonable return of investment,” Stilling explained.
“We want to duplicate what was done in the US West and East Coast where a large restoration program was implemented to guarantee the return of investment of shipping lines,” he added.
International carriers are expected to hike rates by $200 per TEU by July 1 and by $200 three months after, in almost all major trading routes. These follow the $200 per TEU increase in December and $200 per TEU increase last April 1.
“These rates… put us in a very good position to anticipate a healthy trade and growth compared to last year,” Stilling said.
Since 2006, international carriers have been hankering for increases in freight rates to recover losses in 2005.
For the US trade, carriers see some stability in rates, something that is not expected for Europe.