Bangalore: The cost of shipping cargo containers from India to Europe has risen by about 40-45% above the rates in May this year, on the back of a pickup in volumes and rate increases by carriers.
“There is a significant growth in container volumes going to Europe on a month-on-month basis,” said Apurva Jasraj, partner at Mumbai-based freight broking firm M. Jasraj and Bros. “October was better than September and in November so far, the same trend is continuing,” he said. Rates on India to Europe shipments is now about $850-900 (Rs39,525-41,850) for a 20ft container and $1,500-1,600 for a 40ft container, he added.
Six months ago, rates had fallen to $250-300 for a 20ft container and $450-500 for a 40ft container from about $1,100 for a 20ft container and $2,500 for a 40ft container in August 2008 as the financial crisis cut demand for goods.
The increase in trade to Europe has led many carriers to seek higher rates between $100 and $200 for a 20ft container from November. This is the third time that carriers are seeking rate hikes on this route since July this year. Carriers looking to hike rates further include Maersk Line, CMA CGM SA, Mediterranean Shipping Co. SA and Shipping Corp. of India Ltd (SCI).
“The rate increase is to meet the burgeoning operating costs and to make the service viable in the interests of the trade,” an SCI statement said. The state-run firm has hiked rates by $150 for shipping a 20-ft container to Europe beginning 5 November.