Container carriers have announced that they will be implementing additional charges to account for the cost of re-routing ships in light of recent attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and to avoid potential attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militant group.
Maersk, CMA CGM, and Hapag-Lloyd have stated that these surcharges will offset the increased expenses of longer voyages around Africa compared to routes via the Suez Canal, resulting in higher sea transport costs.
Maersk and CMA CGM were the first to introduce these fees, with Hapag-Lloyd following suit later on Friday.
These leading shipping lines have suspended the passage of vessels through the Red Sea, opting to redirect ships around the Cape of Good Hope in an effort to avoid the area, which adds approximately 10-14 days to the journey from China to northern Europe that would typically take around 27 days.
Maersk has announced an immediate transit disruption surcharge (TDS) to cover the extra costs associated with the longer journey, along with a peak season surcharge (PSS) starting from Jan. 1. Hapag-Lloyd has also made plans to redirect 25 ships by the end of the year to avoid the area.
Maersk has indicated that a standard 20-foot container travelling from China to Northern Europe will now face total extra charges of $700, including a $200 transit disruption surcharge (TDS) and a $500 peak season surcharge (PSS). Meanwhile, containers bound for the east coast of North America will incur $500 in extra charges, consisting of the $200 TDS payment and a $300 PSS.
In addition, Maersk has warned that routes in other parts of its network will also be affected by the disruption, leading to emergency contingency surcharges on a wide range of journeys. CMA CGM has also announced surcharges, including an extra $325 per TEU on the North Europe to Asia route and $500 per TEU for Asia to the Mediterranean as part of their contingency plan to re-route vessels around the Cape of Good Hope.