Container shipping costs of S. Korea-EU route surge 40 pct amid Red Sea crisis

Container shipping costs from South Korea to Europe soared nearly 40 percent on-year in March amid ongoing tensions surrounding the Red Sea, the customs agency said Monday. The average shipping cost for a 40-foot container for the South Korea-European Union route came to 4.25 million won (US$3,077) last month, up 39 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service. In on-month terms, the figure fell 6.6 percent, following sharp on-month increases this year. Carriers have been forced to suspend transit through the crucial Middle East maritime route, which has led to longer shipping times and an increase in shipping costs, as tensions remain high over strikes on ships in the Red Sea by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels based in Yemen. The average shipping cost from the EU to South Korea fell 18.4 percent on-year to 1.38 million won in March, though it marked a 10.3 percent increase from a month earlier. Costs for shipping from South Korea to the U.S. west coast fell 5 percent o n-month to 4.93 million in March, and those to the U.S. east coast shed 2.1 percent to 5.24 million won. The expense of shipping to China rose 5.6 percent to 521,000 won, and that to Japan added 4.4 percent to 684,000 won, the data showed. The figures include freight rates, commissions and other charges reported by local exporters, according to the agency. Source: Yonhap News Agency