Shipping Costs

Apr 20, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shippers could see the cost of shipping goods to key markets rise as shipping lines are expected to follow Hanjin’s recently announced rate hike with the peak season for cargo getting underway. Shipping lines on the main East-West trade route are struggling to raise rates to cope with rising oil prices and overcapacity caused by the deployment of bigger ships ordered before the global economic crisis.

Hanjin Shipping last week announced a “rate restoration” for Asia-Europe trades from May 15, 2011 with rates from the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia and the Middle East to Europe going up by 150 US dollars a 20-foot container

The line, which does not make direct calls at Colombo port, said it was forced to raise rates despite “our utmost efforts to reduce costs” in order to maintain service quality and schedule reliability in the midst of “hiking operation expenses.”

Other shipping lines have either raised rates or announced plans to do so as shippers begin to move goods to key markets for the winter buying season.

But analysts said it remains to be seen whether the lines could make the rate hikes stick given the sharp increase in capacity caused by the deployment of bigg