Shipping Stocks: Sector Floats on Oil, Rate Increases

Shipping stocks were solidly in the green Monday after Maersk Line and APL announced they were raising freight rates.
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Updated from 1:43 p.m. EDT

Shipping stocks were solidly in the green Monday after

Maersk Line

became the latest carrier to say it will raise freight rates, starting in the weeks ahead.

A precipitous decline in freight rates plus a glut of vessels that outstrips demand have done a number on the sector, which is well off its highs from a year ago.

According to

Reuters

, Maersk Line, a unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk, will raise rates between Asia and Europe. The changes will take effect in two stages, first in April and then again in July.

Last month,

APL

, a unit of Singapore-based

Neptune Orient Lines

, announced freight rate increases. According to a press release dated Feb. 19, APL will raise its rates between $100 and $175 for eastbound routes from Europe to Asia, beginning next week. For shipments from Asia to Europe, the increase will be $250, effective April 1.

Furthermore, as

RealMoney.com's

Rev Shark contends, the dry bulk group tends to mirror changes in oil prices, which headed back toward $50 a barrel Monday.

With this in mind:

Diana Shipping ended the day up 4.4% to $12.38.

Eagle Bulk finished up 11.2% to $5.05 after an intraday high of $5.44.

Genco Shipping closed up 4.4% to $12.83.

Excel Maritime was up 3.3% to $4.04.

DryShips rose 10.6% to close at $4.06.