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S. Korea to offer more shipping services amid freight price hike

All News 13:30 August 12, 2021

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's trade ministry said Thursday it plans to add more chartered shipping services for exporters as the global freight costs hit yet another record high level amid strong demand.

Under the plan, the country will begin operating at least six new shipping services monthly in September, rising sharply from around two to three ships operated prior to June, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

A record high number of 18 ships will be added in August as well.

"It is unlikely that the current challenges in the shipping sector will be solved in the near future," the ministry said in a statement, pointing out that the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, a barometer of global freight rates, came to 4,226 points last week, extending gains for the 13th week in a row.

S. Korea to offer more shipping services amid freight price hike - 1

The latest additional measure came as the demand for shipping services is expected to rise further in the third quarter, ahead of the Black Friday and Christmas shopping season in the United States.

Since August 2020, South Korea has added 49 shipping services for exporters, including 40 to North America.

The ministry said it also plans to offer 1,300 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo space for small and medium-sized businesses weekly, which more than doubles from the previous 480 TEUs. TEU is a measure used for the capacity of container transportation.

The latest hike in shipping costs came amid a quicker-than-expected global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which boosted demand for ships and shipping.

colin@yna.co.kr
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