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Maersk has announced plans to increase its import haulage fees for movements into the UK and Ireland from 1 January 2021.

The world’s largest shipping company announced on its website that it would be adjusting the fee “to reflect cost increases within the industry”.

New rules

The move is a double whammy for the UK, coming as it does on the first day of new trade rules with the EU post-transition, Loadstar reports

Freight rates have been rising in the UK as carriers have “sought to stop imports into Felixstowe in an effort to evacuate empties to the Middle East where they are urgently needed,” a source told Loadstar.

“This is resulting in importers paying $4,500 and, because of the backlogs, only getting their goods if they are deemed important enough,” they added.

‘Not due to Brexit’

However, Maersk told The Loadstar: “Any increases we are looking for in 2021 are purely to recover costs. This is not related to Brexit or anything else.”

This summer, Maersk posted an increase in operating profit of 25% to $1.7 billion in Q2 beating its own expectations.

Although the company’s revenue fell due to a volume decrease of 16% in ocean freight and 14% in gateway terminal, this was “partially offset by increased freight rates and increased revenue per move in terminals”.