Sea freight giant CMA CGM freezes prices amid explosion in container prices

The port of Le Havre and its containers as far as the eye can see (illustrative image).

AFP - ROBERT FRANCOIS

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

Sea freight, a sector disrupted by the Covid-19 crisis, is now in full recovery.

Consequence: prices explode.

Faced with this complicated situation, according to

Le Mond

e, the French CMA CGM, the world's third largest container ship owner, has decided to freeze, until February 1, 2022, the rates negotiated with its customers for transporting their products by sea.

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The rate freeze concerns short-term contracts for rates negotiated for less than 30 days.

Long-term contracts, which cover nearly 80% of the group's activity, are not concerned.

The measure is unprecedented and shakes up the freight world.

The German Hapag-Lloyd, world number five, ensures that he will also put in place a cap.

It must be said that the prices have soared

.

According to CMA CGM, a container between Shanghai and Le Havre which cost $ 1,000 before the pandemic is currently at $ 7,500.

And for good reason, the demand for transport services is experiencing a very strong rebound due to the postponement of household consumption, especially in Western countries.

Added to this is the need for companies to replenish their stocks, which were largely depleted last year.

► To read also: Sea freight: containers are snapped up at a high price

The French shipowner took advantage of this growth.

Its net income increased 25-fold to almost $ 3.5 billion in the second quarter of 2021.

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