Peak season surcharges arise ahead of February 9-15 Chinese New Year
SHIPPERS are braced for peak season surcharges on the Asia-Europe route before the end of the month after recent rate increases, which were reflected in the spot rate increase last week on the Shanghai Container Freight Index.
Geneva's Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has levied a US$300 per TEU peak season surcharge from January 24. Marseille-based CMA CGM applies its hike of $250 per TEU from January 28 and Cosco has announced its increase of $225 per TEU from January 30.

Expectations of more to come are bolstered with news that CMA CGM will cut six sailings on its Asia-Europe run ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday from February 9-15 in mainland China.

SeaIntel Maritime Analysis CEO Lars Jensen told Lloyd's Loading List he did not expect the Asia-Europe spot rate to fall soon. "I expect it to be stable, followed by a slightly upward trend emerging on the back of capacity reductions.

Shanghai index spot rates between Asia and US west coast ports rose 7.6 per cent and by 4.1 per cent to the US east coast last week.

"Market conditions are slightly better on the transpacific trade and demand has not declined as we have seen in Asia-Europe," Mr Jensen said. "It is not exposed to the injection of super-postpanamax vessels we see on Asia-Europe and, overall, we see a more stable operating environment."