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Asia-Europe container freight rates jump 29%

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Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe jumped 29 per cent to US$763 per 20-foot container (TEU) this week data from the Shanghai Shipping Exchange showed.

[COPENHAGEN] Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe jumped 29 per cent to US$763 per 20-foot container (TEU) this week data from the Shanghai Shipping Exchange showed.

It was the second consecutive week with rises of more than 25 per cent for spot rates on the world's busiest route but with a combined increase of US$294 it is far from the earlier announced hike by all major container shipping companies of US$1,000.

Freight rates on the route have tanked this year due to overcapacity in vessels and sluggish demand for goods to be transported. Spot rates generally deemed profitable for shipping companies on the route are at about US$800-US$1,000 per TEU.

Container spot freight rates are normally calculated and published on Fridays but this week they were issued earlier due to holidays in China.

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In the week to Wednesday, container freight rates rose 24.1 per cent from Asia to ports in the Mediterranean, fell 1.7 per cent to ports on the US West Coast and were down 2.2 per cent to ports on the US East Coast.

Average rates for 2015 are so far US$666 per TEU compared with US$1,172 last year.

Maersk Line, the global market leader with nearly 600 container vessels and part of Danish oil and shipping group AP Moller-Maersk, was one of the few container shipping companies to make a profit last year.

The Danish shipping company controls around one fifth of all transported containers from Asia to Europe.

REUTERS