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Sun 26 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Cargo rates to increase

With more shipping lines calling in at Dubai ports, the Informal Rate Agreement has hiked rates to cope with the surge.

A surge of cargo to the Middle East region from the Far East and South East Asia, has prompted major shipping lines calling in at Dubai to announce a rate restoration programme on these routes from July 1st.

Member lines of the Informal Rate Agreement covering trade from the Far East to the Middle East, have hiked rates by US $300 per TEU and $600 per FEU.

The rate increase is to be added on top of ongoing market rates and will apply for all equipment types to the Middle East. The scope includes ships from export areas like Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan and is the second rate hike this year as part of the cartel’s yearly business plan, which envisages four rate increases.

An earlier hike in April however, had limited success due to a minor oversupply of large vessels in the market. “The market during the first quarter of the year is normally soft, but starting from the second quarter, business usually goes back to normal,” said a representative from a major line.

Rates from China to Dubai currently stand at $950-$1000 per TEU and $1900-$2000 per FEU, while last year the rates in this sector were quoted at $1100 for TEUs and $2200 for 40 ft boxes.

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