Maersk to rush laid-up ships into empty container runs.

After the GFC-induced slowdown, shipping lines are finding that empty containers are in short supply in Asia, forcing Maersk to deploy some of its laid-up tonnage on empty repositioning runs.

With the Christmas peak season fast approaching, the shipping line is repositioning empty containers to Asia in order to avoid shortages.

Production of new containers, halted during the financial downturn, is also to be expedited.

All this action doesn’t come cheap, however. Maersk has announced it will charge an unprecedented peak service surcharge of USD 750 / 1,000 / 1,200 per 20’/40’/40’ HC container on the Asia to Northern Europe runs from 15 July, and USD 600/800/1,000 to Southern Europe.

Head of network and product Lars Reno Jakobsen said: “We are experiencing a demand surge in most trades, which is a development that is both unprecedented and unexpected by us and our customers.

“For example, the Asia-Europe trade is growing by 23%, compared with the market’s single-digit expectation just six months ago.

“Therefore, we already see a very tight equipment situation. And we expect an even more pronounced and serious shortage of containers in the coming months, as we enter the peak season.”

Source: T and L News