Ocean carriers have been suffering along with everyone else in this economic downturn, but it’s especially acute in the formerly prosperous Asia-Europe trade lanes. For several years the carriers have been counting on double digit growth in this market. Indeed, many of them justified the purchases of ever-larger post-Panamax vessels on the growth they continued to expect from Asia-Europe, as most of these types of vessels can only call on the deeper and larger water ports of Europe. That market has collapsed along with the expectations of the carriers servicing it. Carrier pricing dropped, and dropped rapidly. As prices have approached a rumored zero base rate level, with averages from $100-250 per TEU, carriers are reacting by restoring prices. Over the past several days, a number of carriers have been reported as seeking rate increases across the board for their Asia-Europe trade lanes.
1. MOL announced a “general rate restoration program” which seems to call for USD300/TEU rate increases scheduled for 3 different times throughout the year.
2. Evergreen will raise its rates by USD300 from April.
3. CMA-CGM has also announced a rate increase that they will define on March 1st.
4. APL has announced increases of USD250 per TEU effective April 1st.
5. Hapag Lloyd has announced the biggest increases I have seen so far, USD1,000 per TEU.
These are just some of the carriers that have announced rate increases. If you know of more, by all means let us know via the comments.