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Container lines add more backhaul and reefer surcharges

Container lines are continuing to add surcharges for the backhaul into Asia and Chinese reefer imports as the coronavirus (COVID-19) impact schedules and reefer slot availability.

As lines continue to blank more sailings from Asia due to lower volumes from China caused by the shutdown factories due coronavirus outbreak it is putting pressure on space on the backhaul on the mainline trades.

CMA CGM is adding a $300 per container peak season surcharge on dry cargo between North Europe to China and North and South Asia base ports from 15 March. Hapag-Lloyd has already announced a similar surcharge at $325 per box from 1 March.

Meanwhile as the availability of reefer plugs at major Chinese ports has worsened according to Maersk Line. The Danish line already has a $1,000 per reefer container congestion surcharge for shipments to Shanghai and Xingang and this is being extended to Ningbo from 28 February for non-FMC trades and 22 March for trades covered by the FMC.

Maersk recommends shippers choose other destination ports in China for reefer shipments and is offering free destination change to another port in China for reefer cargoes already in transit.

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