UASC increases cargo rates as demand goes up

UASC, which operates about 50 vessels, is emerging out of the slowdown. (EB FILE)

United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) has announced that it has increased rates for cargo to and from the region.

A company official told Emirates Business yesterday that while the new fares for outbound cargo vessels would become effective from February 15, while clients in West Mediterranean, North Europe and the rest of Europe were being given more time.

According to the official, most other shipping companies in the UAE had either increased their fares or are in the process of doing so.

"The demand is going up, which is a positive sign for the industry. We have announced that the new fares at other ports will come into effect from March 1. However, cargo from here is being charged the new fare structure from February 15," the official said.

In an announcement on its website, the company said there would also be general rate increase for cargo from Asia, West Mediterranean and North Europe. "The rate restoration is applicable to both dry [including special equipment] and reefer cargo," said the statement.

UASC said it would be implementing a general rate increase effective from March 1 that will apply to shipments moving from West Mediterranean origins of Italy, south of France (Fos-sur-Mer), Spain and the Adriatic to the US East Coast base ports of New York, Norfolk, and Savannah. The new rates would be $300 (Dh1,101) per TEU (20ft equivalent unit) and $600 per FEU (40ft equivalent unit).

The firm also said it would implement a rate restoration at $100 per container with effect from March 1 for cargo from West Mediterranean to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and the Far East.

Similarly, the company also announced that starting March 1, cargo from North Europe to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and the Far East will be $100 per TEU and $150 per FEU. The new rates for cargo from North Europe to the Far East would be $125 per TEU and $175 per FEU.

UASC said it is also increasing the overweight surcharge. "With continuous tight space situation and strong market sentiment from Asia to Mediterranean trade, UASC has decided to increase its overweight surcharge," it added.

In December 2009, UASC decided to increase the Emergency Risk Surcharge due to a surge in piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the subsequent rise in hull insurance premiums.

Cargo transiting the Gulf of Aden was charged $41 per TEU payable by the freight payer. The piracy charge became effective from January 1, 2010, for non-FMC regulated trade and from January 11 for FMC regulated trade.

According to reports, the company is emerging out of the slowdown, and operating profits were better on some sectors in January.

UASC, which operates about 50 vessels, recently announced the launch of a new joint service WAF1 with Hanjin Shipping, covering the trade line to and from West Africa.

According to the joint venture, each of the partners will initially contribute one vessel with a capacity of 1,700 TEU to the WAF1 service, to be upgraded eventually to two, thus allowing a weekly service.

WAF1 will call directly at the following ports: Lagos Apapa, Nigeria; Cotonou, Benin; Tema, Ghana; and Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with Valencia being the hub port.

UASC will additionally offer coverage of inland destinations in the neighbouring countries.

Cargo will be accepted from Asia, Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, Red Sea, Mediterranean and US East Coast to West Africa and the other way around.

 

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