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At the start of 2013, the freight rate level was already below the long term average with the carriers looking at ways to push rates upwards.

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450 port workers employed by Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) have compromised and accepted a pay increase worth 9.8%.

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The carrier's plans to increase freight rates from 1st March and 1st April were successful; the rates in place now are more than double what they were back in February. Although further increases are possible in June/July in the run up to the Peak Season, it remains to be seen whether the market can accept further increases, as this would potentially push rates up to the highest level on record.

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Rates from India & Pakistan have also been increasing month on month so far in 2012, although the increases are not as severe as the Far East/China market. From February to May, these have increased by USD 600 per TEU, and are likely to increase further from 1st June.

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