ASIA/EUROPE CARRIERS STICK TO PLAN TO INCREASE RATES
Ocean carriers of the Far Eastern Freight Conference said that they plan to implement a rate increase of $150 per TEU on westbound Asia to northern Europe shipments on April 1, as announced last October, despite the slowdown in the trade.
Following a meeting on Monday, the conference carriers reaffirmed their intention to implement the rate hike.
The conference expects westbound cargo volumes to increase by about 6 to 7 percent this year, compared to a growth rate of 7 percent in 2000. Traffic growth slowed down in the fourth quarter of last year.
“Capacity predictions for the first half of 2001 indicate that there will be relatively little new space offered overall by conference members during that period and this should be matched by cargo growth,” a spokesman for the conference said. “The Lines will be monitoring the capacity position for the second half of the year.”
As in the transpacific container trade, the Asia/Europe route is expected to receive a large number of new containerships this and next year, but forecasts of a capacity glut have been denied by major carriers.
In the eastbound trade from northern Europe to Asia, the Far Eastern Freight Conference announced a plan to introduce a rate increase of $250 per container, irrespective of size, effective April 1.
The conference carriers expect to introduce a further eastbound rate restoration from October 2001, and this figure will be announced nearer the time, the conference said.
The carriers of the Far Eastern Freight Conference are APL, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, “K” Line, Maersk Sealand, Malaysia International Shipping Corp., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Orient Overseas Container Line, P&O Nedlloyd, Senator Lines and Yangming Marine Transport Corp.