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India-US shippers hit by three rounds of hefty rate hikes in January

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MUMBAI : Indian shippers are getting flooded with general rate increase (GRI) and peak season surcharge (PSS) notices as container lines attempt to maximise pricing out of the troubled Red Sea waters.

MSC has just put out its third round of GRI and PSS plans for January, which together make up a total US$5,000-per-box increase for the month on the India-US trade.

The Geneva-based liner, which saw one of its ships attacked in the Red Sea in late December, will implement a GRI of US$1,000 per container for all cargo shipped out of India to the US East/West/Gulf coasts and San Juan (Puerto Rico) from 29 January.

MSC Agency (India), in a customer advisory, noted that the GRI is necessary to “maintain the high level of reliability and efficiency of its services to meet the needs of customers.”

The carrier also said this hike plan comes on top of the two GRI announcements already lined up to take effect from 10 January and 22 January, covering a US$500-per-container each.

Similarly, it will push through a fresh PSS of US$1,600 per container on the same trade lane from 29 January, after announcing surcharges of US$500 per container from 10 January and US$800 per box from 22 January.

Other carriers serving Indian trades have also announced multiple rounds of hefty rate increase plans for January, including emergency surcharges.

According to freight forwarder sources, February increase plans will also be known in the coming days.

With the Red Sea crisis not easing, a reversal of services by major carriers to the Suez Canal route seems unlikely any time soon. This could mean further rate increases along with cargo delays as the disruption deepens across trade routes.

The situation is constantly evolving and remains highly volatile, and all available intelligence at hand confirms that the security risk continues to be at a significantly elevated level,” Maersk said in an operational update on 5 January.

The Danish carrier further noted, “We have therefore decided that all Maersk vessels due to transit the Red Sea / Gulf of Aden will be diverted south around the Cape of Good Hope for the foreseeable future.”

It went on to add, “By suspending voyages through the Red Sea / Gulf of Aden, we hope to bring our customers more consistency and predictability despite the associated delays that come with the re-routing.”

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