Freight rates between Europe and the Middle East are to rise on 1 October according to the Europe Middle East Rate Agreement (EMERA). The 15 shipping lines in EMERA plan to boost rates by $50 a container in an effort to recover lost ground.

Box rates between Europe and the Gulf have slumped to an average of $1,150 despite a steady volume over the last four years. Published rates are $1,500 a 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) but quoted rates have slipped much lower due to the intense competition and the activity of independent lines.

Trade volumes range from 140,000 to 150,000 TEUs a year. EMERA members carry an estimated 80 per cent of this trade. The new rates will be held until March 1995 when further increases are likely to be considered.