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Mon 4 Jan 2010 08:11 PM

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Maersk raises rates on S. Asia, Mideast routes

Shipping company says current rates are 'unacceptably low' and 'unsustainable' in the longer term.

Maersk raises rates on S. Asia, Mideast routes
INCREASED RATES: Maersk, the worlds largest shipping country says current rates are at unacceptable levels. (Getty Images)

The world's biggest container shipping company, Maersk Line, said on Monday it would raise rates on routes from South Asia and the Middle East to Europe from Feb 1, but said rates remained unacceptably low.

The company, part of Danish shipping and oil group AP Moller Maersk, said it would raise rates on 20 foot containers by $300 and rates on 40 foot containers by $600 for transport of dry commodities on those routes.

A Maersk spokesman declined to give the new levels, saying the company only announces the amount of the increase.

In a statement, Maersk Line said: "The trading conditions for the carriers operating in these markets are still subject to unacceptable rate levels and the situation is unsustainable in the longer term."

Shipping markets have been hit hard by the global economic downturn, which has sharply reduced trade volumes and freight rates. (Reuters)

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