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Container Lines Losing Price Battle as Costs Overwhelm: Freight

The world’s container lines can’t raise freight rates fast enough to cover soaring fuel prices as persistent overcapacity works against the industry.

Hapag-Lloyd AG, Europe’s fourth-biggest container company, said Aug. 14 that further increases are “crucial” if it’s to offset rising bunker costs -- the price of fuel used on ships -- and generate an operating profit this year. Still, a lack of demand forced the Hamburg-based carrier to delay a rate increase this month on routes between east Asia and northern Europe and cut a planned peak-season charge by more than half.