Asia-Europe Shipping Rates are Rising

Many shipping carriers use the new year to evaluate their costs. By looking back at the previous year they can determine their successful areas and adjust the rates accordingly. With the European economy the way it has been, many companies have been raising their rates after finding that their sales were not as high as they had hoped. This year is so far not looking any better. The general rate increases have been across many carriers and they are only going to get worse with the prospects of increased fuel costs and decreased demand for some specific areas of the world. It has been announced recently that next month, Maersk will be raising their rates in their Asia-Europe trade lane for all dry and reefer containers. Now it seems other shipping lines are starting to follow suit in the same areas and they are almost doubling the existing market price. In addition European governments have added surcharges for receiving containers which will give an extra burden when shipping. Maersk in particular, has explained the rate hike by saying they had incredible losses between Asia and Europe last year and they are not willing to accept the loss again this year. They have also started changing their processes to make it more efficient and keep in line with their new "absolute reliability" marketing plan. Unfortunately this does not look promising for international trade this year especially for these areas that have been hard hit recently. Between Japan's natural disaster and Europe's financial crisis, it looks like shipping was affected enough to back off the trade lane.