The spot rates between Asia and Europe dropped markedly this week. This has only served to underscore the importance of next week’s numbers which will show whether the shipping companies’ general rate increases, announced March 15th, will be a success. The rates between Asia and Europe dropped by 9.5 percent to USD 999 during the week which ends today. This is the first time the rates plunged below USD 1000 since the beginning of December and a decrease of 42 percent since the year’s hitherto peak in January. Maersk Line and its competitors have announced rate increases on the route from next Friday onwards. In Maersk Line’s case, this increase will be USD 600.
“March 15th will be a kind of D-Day for Maersk Line and the other companies as concerns the rates. To an even greater extent, the announced rate increases will be crucial to recreating the earnings following the major drops which we have seen in spot rates recently, says A.P. Moeller – Maersk analyst with Carnegie, Stig Frederiksen, to Ritzau Finans. He continues:
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