- CMA CGM will apply a $200 per TEU peak surcharge to shipments along the Asia to Northern Europe route and transpacific route, the carrier announced Monday.
- The surcharge on dry cargo and paying empties will go into effect July 1 and will not go beyond July 31, according to the carrier.
- The announcement comes as rates are rising along the Asia to Northern Europe route (up 12% since May 29) and transpacific route (up 32% since May 29), according to Freightos.
Ocean shipping rates are rising as demand returns to a market with depressed capacity. The number of rolled shipments has increased as a result, Freightos CMO Ethan Buchman said in the company's weekly update.
The National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates have revised their forecast for the first half of 2020, expecting "9.46 million TEU, down 10 percent from the same period last year but better than the 9.15 million TEU expected a month ago," according to a press release.
But carriers continue to pull capacity. Carriers announced blank sailings amounting to an additional 53,500 TEU of canceled capacity in the 24th week of the year, which brought the total above 4 million TEU, according to Sea-Intelligence. But the rising rates suggest carriers may have overestimated the downturn, as capacity heading to the U.S. West Coast is expected to be 10% higher through June than it was during May, according to a release from Alphaliner earlier this month.
As shippers work to move cargo in the current market, the peak surcharges will be another part of their calculus.
"Carriers already charge higher base rates in the peak season, so this supplemental charge seems unreasonable," Freightos says on its website. "But you have little choice but to pay."