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Asian shippers want action over freight rate hikes

Singapore: The Asian Shippers Council has a called on the Chinese government to act against sharp increases in container freight rates in recent weeks, despite the glut of overcapacity in the market. John Lu, chairman of the ASC, said shipping lines were acting as a cartel imposing large hikes in freight rates from Chinese ports with additional surcharges levied. "Unless the shippers pay the extra amount their cargo gets shut out," he told Seatrade Asia Online. Box rates from the main port of Shanghai are reported to have hit over $2,000 per teu to Europe and $2,700 per feu to the US in recent weeks, despite the fact over 11% of the world boxship fleet is laid up. "The oversupply situation does not seem to have any effect, which is totally abnormal," Mr Lu said. He called on the Chinese government to look after the interest of shippers with the country's millions exporters being hit by the actions of the shipping lines. [08/02/10]

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