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Exporters' concern over sea freight hike

A leading British paper exporter has criticised shipping companies over reports that their freight rates will be going up in November.

Ranjit Baxi, chairman and chief executive of J&H Sales International, said he had been informed that increases of up $300 (£186) per 40-foot container had been proposed and the number of available ships would be reduced to support the increase.

Baxi was speaking at the latest convention of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) in Paris where a written report presented ahead of the event had noted that the shipping lines had proposed increases in September but these had not been introduced following pressure from exporters.

Baxi told delegates: “We are facing increases at a time when oil prices are at their lowest for some time. I don’t see how they can justify a freight increase.”

He pointed out that when oil prices had risen in recent years, exporters were charged similar surcharges per box but there was no such reason now.

Speaking to MRW after the presentation, Baxi doubted that a rate as $300 would be paid - but it was not yet clear at what level any increase would met.

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