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Lufthansa Cargo (LC) is set to raise its global freight rates by 20% on 1 October, according to a freight news report from IFW.com.

The report says the news was leaked out by a customer who received a letter from the carrier outlining the price changes.

According to the letter, LC intends to lift freight rates by an average of 20%, while security charges will also increase, by Euro0.03 (NZD0.03) per kg.

A spokesman for LC said he could not comment on the contents of the letter to the media for legal reasons.

According to the customer, the letter cites the sharp drop in demand for freight traffic during the economic crisis and the resulting losses as the reason for the rate increases.

It says freight rates declined during the economic downturn and in some regions still have not recovered to pre-crisis levels.

The letter says security charges will be increased because of continually rising security specifications from international authorities that have required investment in new technologies and staff training.

Lufthansa Cargo last raised its prices in March, by an average of 10%, according to the report.

Late last month, IFW reported that air freight rates from Asia to Europe had continued to decline as a weakening euro and doubts over economic growth created uncertainty among retailers.

A forwarding source based in mainland China said rates from Shanghai had fallen as low as US$2.80/kg over the weekend.

Another major air freight agent based in South-east Asia, who also asked not to be named, said rates on services into Europe had fallen right across the continent during June.

He said rates were down about 50% on late May, and less than one-third of prices quoted in April, as backlogs related to the volcanic ash crisis in Europe were being cleared.

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