Home » Breaking News, Maritime, Press Releases » Asia-US container lines stay focused on freight rates as market improves

Transpacific shipping lines have stepped up efforts to raise freight rates, seeking stronger earnings moving into the summer. The aim is to stabilize recent volatility, boost rates to better accommodate growing demand, and establish a more compensatory baseline for subsequent negotiation of 2013 longer-term contracts.

Individual carriers serving the Asia-U.S. trade have announced during the past week various dry cargo increases averaging US$500 per 40-foot container (FEU) to the U.S. West Coast and $700 per FEU for all other shipments. The effective dates vary by carrier, but for the most part, will be during the first week of August. Member lines in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), meanwhile, are recommending increases to refrigerated cargo rates of $1,000 per FEU to the U.S. West Coast and $1,250 per FEU for all other destinations with effect from August 15, 2012.

While refrigerated cargoes such as seafood represent a relatively small share of total cargo eastbound, they make an important contribution to the round-trip cost of managing expensive equipment that is in high demand on the U.S.-Asia return.

“Carriers across the entire trade are determined to maximize yield from ships they expect to approach full utilization throughout the summer months,” said TSA executive administrator Brian M. Conrad. “Too much is at stake in 2012 for the lines, their investors, their creditors and their suppliers and vendors to leave money on the table after sustaining heavy losses in two of the last three years, and amid strengthening demand.”

TSA is a research and discussion forum of major container shipping lines serving the trade from Asia to ports and inland points in the U.S.

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