Maersk increases Asia-Europe reefer rates

Copenhagen, Denmark: Maersk Line has followed Hanjin shipping line with a rate increase on its Asia to Europe services.

Maersk prices for services from Asia to Europe will rise by US$250 per teu on 1 June, the company says in a statement. The increase applies to dry and temperature-controlled cargo moving from Asian ports to those in northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Maersk says the price rise is necessary for it to maintain services levels. Last month Hanjin announced that from 15 May, Far East to northern European and Mediterranean services, excluding Japan, would be subject to $200 per teu increase for dry, temperature-controlled and special cargo.

The Korea-based carrier said it would also impose $150 per teu price increase on routes to northern European and Mediterranean destinations from southeast Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Middle East.

Market observers expected other carriers to follow Hanjin’s lead and attempt to push up rates. Broker, FIS, said: “Most commentators in the industry are certain that a rebound in rates will occur within the next two months. What is not certain is whether this will be driven by increasing cargo volumes, as the peak season starts to take effect, or through a reduction in tonnage forced on carriers by the current unsustainable rate levels,”