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i-maritime News Service

Shipping freight rates to Europe, US improve - 2012-07-23

Shipping freight rates to European and American destinations have improved from mid-2011 levels, Mr J. S. Chopra, Chairman of Calcutta Freight Brokers Association (CFBA), said on Tuesday. Freight rates witnessed a sharp decline in 2011.

This might help the margins of Indian shipping lines grow to some extent, Mr Chopra added. But he remained cautious about the consistency of such a growth.

“For example, the freight rate from Kolkata port stood at $2600 for a 20-foot-container in 2009-10 and went down to $1400 in mid-2011. Currently, the rates are varying between $1700 and $2000,” Mr Chopra said, on the sidelines of the 74th Annual General Meeting of CFBA here. According to him, an increase in freight rates to countries in Europe and the US hinted at a revival in those economies, thereby helping the shipping lines restore their condition.

However, the gloom is still not over as the growth declined to 5.3 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2011-2012, Mr Chopra said while addressing the meeting.

Meanwhile, Mr Deepak Tewari, CEO of MSC Agency India Pvt Ltd, pointed out that “Demand for ships will continue to remain stagnant till 2014 (for Europe and the US). Prospects for shipping lines are unlikely to improve. So the growth is going to take place in geographies like Africa, South America and the ASEAN nations,” Mr Tewari said.

Source: Hindu Business Line