OOCL to adjust bunker surcharge on China-US line from July 1

Maersk has taken a step back from original plans to implement one of the largest Asia-North Europe peak season surcharge (PSS) ever introduced, citing changes in volatile market conditions, and volume demands for the dramatic backtrack. Maersk will continue with its existing Asia-North

Europe PSS of US$250 per TEU and $500 per FEU and $500 per 40 ft hi cube beyond August 1. It had earlier announced it would implement a peak surcharge of $750 per TEU, $1,000 per FEU and $1,200 per 40 ft hi cube on July 15 but later pushed it back to August 1. Maersk said it would continue with the current PSS and would give 15 days notice if it decided to implement the new PSS. The dramatic change has come about as the Asia-Europe market progresses through a volatile stage. Various exchange rate changes and China export tax exemptions have played a strong part in dictating volume throughput on the trade lane. Asia-Europe lines confirm that some four to six weeks ago, vessel capacity utilisation on the westbound Asia-North Europe trade was running at around 95 percent but this has now fallen to some 85 to 90 percent. Part of the reason behind the Maersk PSS announcement was centred on the container equipment situation, but now with the market in a slight reversal, equipment demand is not running as high as was previously expected, according to most Asia-Europe lines But this is a volatile trade, and there are signs once again that the market demand is on the upward swing, and capacity utilisation is also showing signs of picking up. Maersk is hence keeping its options open on the time frame of when exactly to implement the high PSS, but without doubt it will not be on August 1. The move has been echoed to a certain extent by Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), with confirmation that changing market conditions on the Asia-Europe trades have led to some lines rethinking the so-called equipment imbalance charge (EIC). MSC has postponed for a second time plans to implement such a charge for westbound cargo on the Asia-East Mediterranean and Black Sea trades. Instead of implementing an EIC of $200 per TEU on July 14, it has put back the charge to August 14. Earlier, MSC planned to implement the EIC

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