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CMA CGM to levy surcharges for overweight India-US shipments

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MARSEILLE : French container line CMA CGM has implemented a hefty surcharge on overweight containerised shipments moving from India to the US and Canada.

20-foot standard containers weighing over 20 MT, including the weight of the box, now attract a penalty of US$1,000 per TEU until further notice, the carrier noted in a new customer advisory.

“This is in addition to any existing surcharge/rules applicable with inland point movement,” CMA CGM (India) said. “The charges are in addition to any existing tariff rate restoration initiatives.”

According to market sources, other liners active in the India-US trade are also penalising customers for overweight shipments.

The move comes as freight rates on the same trade lane are set to climb up again with fresh general rate increase (GRI) and peak season surcharge announcements, mostly slated to take effect in early August, after somewhat steady pricing trends over the past couple of months.

Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) and Hapag-Lloyd have already issued GRI notices for next month.

However, it remains to be seen if carriers will be able to hold firm on their planned rate hike initiatives amid demand slowdown signs.

Meanwhile, in an apparent move to mitigate the impact of ongoing schedule disruptions that have become more pronounced on India-Europe connections, MSC earlier this week deployed an extra-loader vessel out of Nhava Sheva (JNPT) and Mundra, with onward stops at Colombo, Singapore, Port Klang and Laem Chabang.

The lingering crisis plaguing Sri Lanka seems to have tightened equipment availability for southern Indian ports because of excessive container turnaround delays.

“While Sri Lanka takes its time to recover from the economic crisis, the Indian ports continue to see its impact,” equipment market analyst Container xChange noted in its recent report. “There has been a 25% shortage of containers at the Chennai Port, which has made it face a rise in shipping costs. With the trade routes between Asia and the US as well as Asia and Europe opening, the shipping industry in the country is struggling to keep up with the gap between container demand and supply.”

The analyst added, “The Container Availability Index also observed the slowed down container movement in Colombo. In the last few weeks, the CAx score for 20DC containers at Colombo has been over 0.5 with week 26 standing at 0.57. This again is a reconfirmation of the fact that the number of containers leaving the port is less as compared to those entering.”

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