Maersk raises rates for exporters
Maersk Line said it would enact general rate increases for outbound cargo from the United States and Canada, effective July 1, citing higher fuel costs, increased demand for transportation by U.S. exporters, and the weak dollar.
For non-refrigerated cargo headed for destinations in North Europe, Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Middle East, excluding military shipments, the rate increases for 20-foot containers will range from $120 to $400, depending on destination and trade route. For 40-foot standard, high-cube and 45-foot containers, increases will range from $150 to $500 per container.
In addition, the company will institute increases for refrigerated cargo — with the exception of fresh produce, fruit and cargo originating in Alaska. Refrigerated cargo moving in 40-foot high cube reefer containers will see rates increase $500 per box when bound to the Far East, Middle East, Mediterranean, Black Sea, North Europe, and Baltic, with minor differences for Canadian cargo.
'With the rapid increase of the North American export market, growing equipment costs and availability challenges, as well as ever-increasing fuel costs, a general rate increase on North American export cargo is a necessary reality,' said Robert Kledal, senior vice president of route management for Maersk Line.
The company said the weak dollar has caused export volumes to surge 22 percent since last year.
'The significant demand for agricultural products by global markets translates into equipment demand in the U.S. heartland,' said the company in a statement. 'High fuel costs and equipment repositioning expenses are required to move the empty containers from the coastal port and metropolitan areas where the imports are received.'
While the company introduced a sophisticated system of floating bunker surcharges in January to do a better job of recovering shipboard fuel prices, the company noted that inland and terminal fuel costs have also climbed.