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Container Shipping Rates


In 2010 the United States and the European Union placed some of the worlds uppermost shipping lines and their container shipping rates under close scrutiny.

This came about after it was alleged that some shipping companies were “fixing” the prices of their container shipping rates, with rumors of a cartel being involved in the container shipping rates argument.

The allegations of container shipping rates being unfairly priced, caused an uproar and sent ripples of unease throughout the companies offering the service of container shipping rates.

The United States Federal Maritime Commission opened an investigation to ensure that transportation costs, which would include container shipping rates, had not been increased unfairly due to container shipping rates price fixing, or that the transportation service had not decreased.

Following the allegations, it was feared that shipping companies would lose business drastically because of container shipping rates scandal.  Their container shipping rates would be deemed unacceptable, or in some cases go out of business altogether. This has not, however, been the case with container shipping rates.

Instead companies worked together to ensure that their ships stayed afloat and able to charge container shipping rates, with shipping lines in the United States teaming up to pay voluntary container shipping rates of $400 per container. With voluntary container shipping rates, the shipping lines say it is appropriate because there is no obligation to impose the levy on the container shipping rates.

In March 2010, the average container shipping rates for moving a 40-foot container between two ports across an ocean rose to $2,716. In March 2009, the container shipping rates were $1,557. This was an increase of more than 74% on container shipping rates in a 1-year time span. The increase on container shipping rates on some routes is even more dramatic, with container shipping rates to Europe more than tripled.

The turnaround for container shipping rates and their companies has exceeded expectations, but the companies that specialize in finding space on ships for the container shipping rates, say they are struggling to find enough space on the ships at the container shipping rates required. They are reported to have said that they are still concerned about container shipping rates.

A senior executive of an international delivery company specializing in container shipping rates, complained recently to International Freight Weekly on this debate about container shipping rates that ‘ships can’t be made to go faster’. He also stated that his company hopes that shipping lines will break ranks soon, with regard to container shipping rates or speed of delivery.
But it is expected that carriers and container shipping rates will continue to rise along with the recovery of trade. Carrier rates, container shipping rates, surcharges and other expenses are expected to keep escalating over the summer months.

In the past it has been perfectly acceptable for shipping lines to have been granted immunity enabling them to fix prices on container shipping rates. In the United States, container shipping rates are allowed to be collectively set by shipping lines, but colluding on container shipping rates to restrict supply is not allowed.

In October of 2008, the European Commission brought to an end the shipping industry’s container shipping rates price-fixing exemption. With new rules being introduced to the shipping lines about container shipping rates, the commission will be putting the shipping sector and its container shipping rates, under close scrutiny.

Probes into possible cartels throughout shipping lines and the business of container shipping rates can take years to investigate if launched. But if it is found that there are companies guilty of collusion on container shipping rates, then high fines for those managing container shipping rates can be expected.

There is, however, some good news concerning container shipping rates. During the week beginning June 12th, the container shipping rates benchmark topped out at $2,607 for a 40-foot container. This was an increase in container shipping rates of 19%, making for the highest container shipping rates in the five years the freight market has been in existence.

The container shipping rates benchmark, which is widely used as a key indicator in Eastbound Transpacific shipping freight rates, has increased by 182% in comparison to container shipping rates in the week beginning June 12th in 2009. At that point the container shipping rates were being seriously discounted on price, and the container shipping rates market was going through major overcapacity.

Container shipping rates continue to strongly rise, even though freight rates for cargos of bulk seem to be on a downward trend in comparison to container shipping rates.

Container shipping rates could possibly reflect the kind of items they haul. In general customers prefer the container shipping rates as they feel more secure shipping items that are more sensitive in a container not designed or meant for hauling things such as coal or iron ore despite the container shipping rates.

A major shipping line in Taiwan has been reported as saying that its container shipping rates will be increased on its European routes. Container shipping rates will also include extra charges during its peak season. The shipping line has explained that the increase on container shipping rates covers the demand for container space over a profit based reason for container shipping rates increases.

This statement on container shipping rates has been answered by the Chief Executive of another major shipping line. Quoted in Reuters, he stated that the rise in container shipping rates has nothing to do with global economy, but the container shipping rates rise has more to do with a shortage of shipping containers in general rather than just increasing container shipping rates for increased profits.

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 Container Shipping rates