Price rises introduced by several international ocean shipping giants early this month will have negative effects on Chongqing's exports to Europe, an official of the Chongqing Foreign Trade & Economic Relations Commission has speculated.
On Wednesday, a section chief of the international logistic bureau of the commission, who wished to remain anonymous, told Xinhua, "The rises will directly impact the mechanical, electrical and chemical industries."
Maersk, the world's largest container ship and supply vessel operator, increased its freight prices on March 1.
For example, the cost of transporting ocean freight from Shanghai to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, increased to 2,732 U.S. dollars per container, 114 percent higher than just a week before. Prices for ocean freight on the line linking Shanghai to Genoa, Italy, rose to 2,272 U.S.dollars per container, 850 U.S. dollars higher than before.
Japan-based Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and Israel-based ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. also recently announced that their prices would go up from April 1.
"In March, international transportation stepped into busy season, and the rising prices may influence other lines as well," said a spokesman for the Chongqing Xudong International Logistic Co. Ltd.
"Orders must be impacted by the rising price," said Lv Ke, chairman assistant of Chongqing Huansong Industries (Group) Co. Ltd., which mainly exports all-terrain vehicles to Europe.
The section chief urged businesses not to panic, as the price rise is a sign that the ocean freight industry is recovering since the global financial crisis in 2008.
Europe is Chongqing's largest trading partner. Large amounts of mechanical, electrical and chemical products are exported to the continent from the municipality in southwest China every year.
Statistics show Chongqing's import and export of foreign trade in 2011 totaled 19.84 billion U.S. dollars. Its European import and export value reached 6.25 billion U.S. dollars.