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Container lines roll out backhaul surcharges for shipments to Asia

Container lines roll out backhaul surcharges for shipments to Asia
Container lines are rolling out surcharges on backhaul routes to Asia as blanked sailings from China on mainline trades due to the impact of the coronavirus putting the squeeze on capacity for imports into the region.

According to analysts SeaIntelligence the number of blanked sailings on the Asia – Europe and transpacific trades has increased to 47 from 31 a week earlier, excluding voyages there were already postponed due to the seasonal impact of the Chinese New Year holidays.

“As predicted a week ago, there will be clear ripple effects from the raft of additional blank sailings as this will inevitably curb the backhaul capacity down the line – not to mention the impact from disruption in the carriers’ ability to effectively manage their empty repositioning,” SeaIntel said.

Hapag-Lloyd has announced a peak season surcharge of $325 per container on all boxes from North Europe – Asia from 1 March. For South Europe, Med and Black Sea to East Asia the line is levying a $350 per box surcharge from 1 March.

CMA CGM has announced surcharges for FAK reefer rates from North Europe, Baltic, Scandinavia, Poland & West Mediterranean to China, Hong Kong SAR, North & South Asia ranging from $4,700 to $5,700 per container from 1 March.

For all reefer exports from US and Canada to Asia CMA CGM has announced a $2,000 per container surcharge from 13 March.

In a customer advisory on 14 February Maersk Line warned of more blank sailings to come.

“We have announced nine Asia Westbound blank sailings and as a result we will also have blank sailings on our Asia Eastbound services,” Maersk said.

“Due to ever-changing versatile situation, we are likely to announce more blank sailings on short notice. With the only intention of serving your needs to best of our capabilities during the challenging weeks ahead, we will shift your cargo between vessels as means of minimizing the delay.”

Read all Seatrade Maritime News coverage on the impact of the coronavirus on shipping