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Maersk Line hikes freight rate from India to US

Maersk Line has hiked freight rates to the US from India following a drop in export volumes.

Maersk Line, one of the world’s largest shipping lines, has increased rates by $300 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) and $400 per forty-foot equivalent unit from January 1.

Other lines are likely to follow suit to meet operational costs and offset losses due to lower export cargo volumes, said sources.

Export volumes from India to the US dropped post Christmas season shipments, warranting shipping lines to increase freight rates. Every year, Christmas season shipments from India takes place between August and October so that products are available in the US markets on time for Christmas and New Year.

However, after a robust shipment, there has been a lull in export volumes in the last two months, forcing shipping lines to increase freight rates. The drop in export volume is 20-30 per cent, sources said.

The freight rate for a TEU to a port in the US East Coast from Chennai is around $1,000, (prior to the freight rate increase), which used to be 20 per cent more three to four months ago, he said.

Steve Felder, Managing Director, Maersk Line (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives), in an e-mail response said in the third quarter of 2017-18, exports to North America grew at 8 per cent over the corresponding year, indicating India’s strengthening trade ties with these regions. The US is one of the biggest export markets for India.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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