Special Report: Top 30 Ocean Carriers turn up the volume
October 08, 2010 - LM Editorial
In the school of hard knocks, the tough will survive. Those who prevail, however, are the ones who hit back harder. That’s what shippers should be expecting from the Top 30 ocean carriers this year; and analysts are warning shippers that when it comes to contracting in 2011, the gloves are off.
Shippers saw evidence of this on October 1, when Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) began increasing freight rates on its services between North America and Europe and the Mediterranean. The Geneva-based carrier, the second largest container shipping line, says that the general rate increases are necessary “to preserve the existing comprehensive range of services” and “to advance freight rates towards a sustainable level.”
This blow was delivered just after MSC imposed a peak season surcharge on all shipments from the Far East to the U.S. East and West Coasts. However, MSC was hardly alone in making this move. Maersk Line—the largest carrier of U.S. imports— had warned shippers in mid-summer that it was going to impose a similar surcharge to ensure space in the Asia-U.S. trade lanes.
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