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Asia-Europe Container Rates Rose 114% This Week, Drewry Says

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Container freight rates on Asia to Europe trade jumped 114 percent this week, suggesting shipping lines are having some success with their proposed increases, according to estimates by Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd.

The World Container Index’s subcomponent for freight rates on Shanghai to Rotterdam trade jumped to $2,732 per 40-foot container today from $1,276 a week earlier, Drewry said by e-mail. The index is developed by London-based Drewry and the Cleartrade Exchange.

Shipping lines, including the world’s largest, A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, have said they will increase rates to restore profitability after the industry lost money last year. Copenhagen-based Maersk, which lost 2.88 billion kroner ($521 million) in 2011, last month cut 9 percent of its capacity on Asia-Europe trade to help make rate increases stick and has said it may idle ships.

“We will need to see whether these rate increases will stay or erode over time,” Philip Damas, a director at Drewry, said in the statement. “Our view is that there’ll be a reduction of spot rates next week, but container shipping lines have withdrawn enough capacity from the Asia-Europe trade to support some net rate increases over a fair period of time.””

Maersk gained as much as 2.8 percent in Copenhagen trading after the news to rise to the highest price in a week. The shares advanced 1,120 kroner, or 2.5 percent, to 46,120 kroner at 3:36 p.m.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Wienberg in Copenhagen at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Brogger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net

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