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The coronavirus could be costing container shipping lines $350 million a week, according to maritime freight analyst Sea-Intelligence.

The weekly export demand shortfall from China has been pegged at an estimated 300-350,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit, a measure used in container transportation), due to void (cancelled) sailings and part-loaded ships from Europe not yet sailing east.

Sea-Intelligence calculated the number of headhaul sailings that had been cancelled as of last Friday, as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak and in anticipation of low demand after the end of the extended Chinese new year holiday.

The Loadstar reported that large-volume shippers were being hit by rate hikes from carriers trying to recoup the costs, irrespective of contract rates.

Sea-Intelligence warned those exporting to Asia to prepare for price hikes as well as capacity issues.

Source: The Loadstar

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