Hapag-Lloyd has announced that it is increasing its freight rates across its main container routes as a result of rising costs and rate erosion for Far East services.

New tariff rates for incoming east Asian services to Europe will be US$1,000 for a 20ft container, US$2,000 for a 40ft box and US$2,100 for a 40ft high cube container with effect from 1 April 2009.

Meanwhile, new tariffs for Europe-Asia services will stand at US$250 for a 20ft container and US$500 for a 40ft container, including the bunker and currency surcharge.

'Hapag-Lloyd has decided to raise rates in important trades in order to be able to continue to offer customers the accustomed reliable service and a comprehensive liner network,' the group said in a statement.

Additionally, rates for services from Canada, the US east coast, the US Gulf and Mexico to and from Europe and the Mediterranean will be raised by US$160 for a 20ft container and US$200 for a 40ft container from 1 April 2009.

Rates for services from Europe to the Oceania region, including Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, will be increased by €200 for a 20ft container and €400 for a 40ft container from 1 May 2009 onwards.

The changes follow the recent announcement by Maersk Line that it would be increasing general commodity rates US$25 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) on 1 March and 1 April for a total rise of US$50 – a result of exchange rates boosting Europe-Asia traffic.