Shipping lines boosting West Coast-Europe rates


NEW YORK -- A group of shipping lines plans to raise freight rates from the West Coast to Europe by approximately 10 percent on March 15, officials of the group said.

Prices will increase by $100 for a 20-foot container, $200 for a 40-foot unit and $250 for a refrigerated box, said Allan Peicher, regional commercial manager in San Francisco for the USA-North Europe Rate Agreement.

The members of the agreement are Atlantic Container Line, Compagnie Generale Maritime, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Maersk Line, Nedlloyd Lines BV, P&O; Containers Ltd. and Sea-Land Service Inc.

Currently, the rate for shipping a 20-foot container to Europe is about $1,000, he estimated. Thus, the increase will total about 10 percent.

The move, known as a general rate increase, will affect all commodities exported from the West Coast. Shipments from Europe to the West Coast will not be affected, Peicher said.

Harold G. Holden, New York-based executive director of the rate-setting group, confirmed that an increase is planned, but did not supply further details.

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