AP Moller-Maersk and 13 other cargo-box carriers will add an emergency levy on Asia-US shipments effective from 15 January 2010.

Members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement will levy $320 per 20ft container and $400 per 40ft box, according to Bloomberg.

The charge is an interim measure, which is different from the previously announced rate increase of $800 per 40ft container for West Coast port-to-port and local cargo.

The global downturn will cost the transpacific carriers $20bn this year, the members said.