SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) — Shares in South Korean shippers, led by HMM Co., skyrocketed Monday morning as investors bet that increasing freight rates will help them improve earnings down the road.

The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, a barometer of global freight rates, came to a new high of 1,664.56 last Friday, according to industry sources. The previous record was 1,583.18 posted in July 2010.

Korea Line, a bulk carrier, rose 29.75 percent to 2,115 won (US$1.90) as of 11:20 a.m. with No. 1 shipper HMM up 15.12 percent to 11,800 won.

Another bulk carrier Pan Ocean traded at 4,000 won, rising 14.78 percent, and KSS Line rose 5.07 percent to 10,150 won at the same time.

Local shipping companies are expected to see a rise in freight rates next year as global major shippers have reduced their business due to the coronavirus pandemic amid soaring demand, industry watchers said.

They also said South Korean shippers will benefit from growing demand helped by the year-end shopping season in the United States, including Black Friday on Nov. 27.