High Seas

Cost of trade with the west could rise further with shipping cartels plying the Asia-Europe routs tipped to mark up freight rates from December 2006. Cost of trade with the west could rise further with shipping cartels plying the Asia-Europe routs tipped to mark up freight rates from December 2006. The Karmahom Conference, a cartel of shipping lines controlling the South Asia over the weekend announced that rates to the UK and some of the west European ports will increase by $150 a TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units).

Starting December 1, the conference will implement a rate restoration in the Westbound to UK, North Continent, Scandinavian, Baltic and Mediterranean Ports.

For a forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) the increase is $300. The increased rate levels will be valid until January 31, 2006, says a notice issued by the Karmahom Conference, which describes the increase as “Westbound Rate Restoration.”

Freight rates to the UK hover between $900 and $1,050 a TEU and to other west European ports it would be slightly higher, said an industry source.

Local exporters say though the cartel may not succeed in fully implementing the incre