One of the world’s biggest shipping lines has decided to stop increasing spot freight rates on routes out of Asia to Europe and the U.S. as it sees an end to the rally that has seen prices hit records. Hapag-LLoyd AG thinks spot rates have peaked and further increases are “not necessary,” according to Nils Haupt, the Hamburg-based company’s head of corporate communications. The move comes after French rival CMA CGM SA last week froze rates, saying it was prioritizing long-term relationships following a rally that has seen some spot rates jump more than sixfold in the past year. The price gains came as the economic recovery coincided with reduced shipping capacity, putting inflationary pressure on manufacturers in Asia already grappling with higher commodity and electricity prices. While the historic rally led maritime regulators in the U.S., China and Europe to meet virtually last week to discuss the impact […]