Maersk Line announced plans to lower bunker surcharges imposed earlier on the trade from the Middle East and the Indian Sub-continent to the East Coast of South America.
Effective February 1, the surcharges will be $55 (Dh202) per TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) and $110 per FEU compared with $80 and $160 at present, said the Danish carrier.
In a separate notice, Maersk said it plans to implement a similar reduction for cargo moving from the East Coast of South America to the Middle East and the Indian Sub-continent, also effective February 1.
The revised charges will be $310 per TEU and $620 per TEU, down from $450 and $900 imposed earlier.
Maersk Line has also announced a new service from north China to Aqaba, Jordan, to support higher volumes to the Mideast.
The company said the direct call to Aqaba Port will be added to the existing AE3 in January. The new AE3 rotation will be – Tianjin-Xingang, Dalian, Qingdao, Busan, Ningbo, Shenzhen-Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas and Aqaba. Maersk is the only carrier serving a direct call from north China to Aqaba, and the service will not cut transit time to 26 days.
Finance co-operation Carnegie predicts in a new analysis that Maersk will loose half of its profit in 2009 as the world economy continues to decline.
"We expect the earnings of the group can drop heavily to an annual result of 11bn DKK ($174m) in 2009. There is no doubt that every department will be looking high and low for opportunities to save money, in staff as well as other areas," said Henrik Lund, chief analyst at Carnegie.
According to Borsen, Maersk is expected to be the most heavily affected by a large deficit and the total profit of the concern will drop by $174m.
"There are fewer containers to ship and the cargo rates have decreased severely. On Maersk Line's main service from Asia to Europe the rate is 46 percent lower than 12 months ago, which is causing losses," said Lund.
Earnings in 2009 will also be pressed by the decreasing oil prices, drop in important currencies and low earnings in Danish Bank.