Modest growth, but most carriers operating at a loss
The trade is seeing modest but healthy cargo growth over 2012, while cargo handling, equipment and other costs continue to rise resulting in most carriers operating at a loss.
November 12, 2013
By Donald Urquhart
The Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement, which is made up of 15 major carriers, has recommended a general rate increase of US$400 per feu to come into force on November 15.
The TSA said the GRI comes as shipping lines continue efforts to restore baseline freight rates for holiday shipments and the 2014 contract negotiating season, which typically come up for renewal at the start of May.
TSA executive administrator Brian Conrad said: “The trade is seeing modest but healthy cargo growth over 2012, while cargo handling, equipment and other costs continue to rise and most carriers are operating at a loss.
“It makes no sense for rates to be at current levels, and it threatens the ability of individual carriers to maintain service levels heading into 2014.”
The TSA said that lines had individually announced rate increases to come into force in October. The impact of these increases has yet to be felt as rates appear to be on a downward trend.
According to the latest figures from the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index, all-in spot rates for services from China to the US west coast are $1,773 per feu and to the east coast rates are $3,205 per feu.
Compared with the same time last year, rates are 31.6 per cent lower on services to the US east coast and 9.4 per cent lower to the west coast.
Prices on transpacific services reached their peak in mid-January this year when rates to the west coast hit $2,519 per feu, while to the east coast they reached $3,670 per feu.