Sustainable rates? ôNot even close,ö says APL
APL said it would raise freight rates in the Asia/Europe trade, as part of an initiative announced in February.
For the eastbound Europe-to-Asia leg an increase of $100 per container will be placed on scrap commodities such as paper, effective June 1.
In the westbound Asia-to-Europe trade lane there will be a rise of $300 per TEU for all freight to the Mediterranean and North Europe, effective June 15 and July 1, respectively.
'Despite the relative success of initiatives we implemented earlier this year, rates in the Asia/Europe trade are not even close to sustainable levels,” said Detlev Kerber, APL's vice president for the Asia/Europe trade. “We will be doing everything possible to ensure the latest rises are upheld.'
APL made the announcement even as it documented the continuing decline in average freight rates in its monthly operational update.
For the four weeks ending May 1 the company said freight rates averaged $2,322 per 40-foot equivalent unit, down 21 percent from the same period in 2008, and the lowest level since 2003, according to records on the company’s Web site. It said lower average revenue per FEU was due to lower core freight rates and lower bunker recovery.
Container shipping volume for the same period was 157,800 FEUs, down 22 percent from the same 2008 period, due to the decline in demand on all major trade lanes.
Year to date through May 1, the company said 2009 container shipping volume is 26 percent behind the same 2008 period while average revenue per FEU is off 17 percent.