Shipping lines plan to raise Panama fees

Royal P&O Nedlloyd NV, Neptune Orient Lines Ltd and 11 other shipping lines plan an additional increase in prices as the cost of transporting containers through the Panama Canal adds to higher costs from fuel and congestion. The 13-line Transpacific Stabilization Agreement is seeking to raise the transit surcharge through the canal to US$165 per container starting on May 1, up from US$115, the group said over the weekend. The group already plans to raise freight rates by 7.6 per cent next month.