Price hikes for Maersk's Latin American shipments

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Price hikes for Maersk's Latin American shipments

Maersk Line is increasing rates on Latin American routes in the face of rising fuel costs in a bid to boost profitability and safeguard services on other existing routes.

Maersk Line Latin America chief executive officer Robbert Jan Van Trooijen, said the shipping industry was losing money as returns had lagged behind investment over the last five years.

"Previously, we followed the downward market trend on rates to regain lost market share, but today we are happy with our position and see Latin America as a growth opportunity.

"To achieve this, our prices must reflect the current environment of higher fuel, container and terminal costs."

The company said over the last five years fuel prices had risen by 250%, whilst its rates in Latin America had dropped by more than 10%.

"The business model must make financial sense to us too. By increasing rates, we are looking to strengthen existing routes and ensure a healthier basis for our continued investment in the region," said Jan Van Trooijen.

He stressed that Latin America was of critical importance and that Maersk group was busy investing US$8.3 billion in ports, logistics and oil in the region.

The shipping company is currently executing its US$2.2bn 2011-2013 investment program in Latin America with delivery of 16 new vessels that can carry 7,500 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers.

Other projects include a US$992m investment in a Moin terminal in Costa Rica, a US$170m container factory in Chile, building two new US$200m supply vessels and a US$450m investment in Brazil's Santos terminal.

Latin America represents 14% of Maersk’s total container volumes and the line has a 15% market share in the region.

Maersk Line transported 183 million tonnes (MT) of cargo in 2011 and is the world's largest container carrier.

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