Maersk raises Asia-Europe container shipping rates

Monday, 27 February 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Maersk Line to raise Asia to Europe rates by $400/TEU
  • Says increase to take effect from Apr. 1

COPENHAGEN (Reuters): Maersk Line, the container shipping arm of Danish group A.P. Moller-Maersk is raising rates on its key Asia to Europe routes by a further $400 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), the company said on Friday, sending its shares higher.

The increase is the second Asia-Europe rise this year from the world’s biggest container shipper, which has been struggling with market overcapacity and high fuel costs.

The latest rate increase will be applied to all dry and reefer cargo moving from all Asian ports to all destinations in Europe (North Europe and Mediterranean), effective from April 1.

Shares in A.P. Moller-Maersk were up 3.6 percent at 1221 GMT, outperforming a 1.6 percent rise in the Copenhagen stock exchange’s benchmark index.

“The share is rising because the group has announced a $400 rate increase on the Asia to Europe route,” said Jyske Bank senior equities trader Michael Lyngsoe.

“Investors have feared that the group was not making money on these routes and the rate rise will improve earnings,” Lyngsoe said.

In November Maersk posted a steeper than expected drop in quarterly profits, hit by weak freight rates and after Maersk Line fell into loss.

In January Maersk Line said it would increase Asia to Europe rates by $775 per TEU and last week the company announced it would remove 9 percent of its vessel capacity in the Asia-Europe trade in a bid to bolster rates.