Shipping Costs

May 11, 2011 (LBO) – Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line has become the latest container shipping line to announce a freight rate hike in what carriers call ‘rate restoration’ programmes. OOCL has told shippers it is raising rates on Asia-Europe trade lanes as present rates were not sustainable.

“The ocean freight rate for Asia Europe Trade continues to be under the required level to cover basic operating costs,” OOCL said in a statement.

“Considering that the current level is unsustainable for the long term, we are announcing a revenue restoration program in order to maintain a viable service level.”

Freight rate for the westbound traffic from Asia to North Europe will be increased by 275 US dollars a TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container unit) with effect from June 1, 2011.

Cargo origins include the Far East (except Japan), the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East.

Container shipping lines are trying to raise freight rates after they fell owing to over-capacity on the main trade lanes.

OOCL had previously announced a similar increase for cargo moving from Asia to ports in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea region from May 15.

Several other b