Home » Maritime » Forwarders post higher Q1 volume

PHILIPPINE forwarders experienced positive business conditions in the first quarter, a situation made even more noteworthy considering the first few months of the year are usually a slow period for the industry.

“The first three months have been very encouraging as cargo volume really picked up,” Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA) president Nelson Mendoza told PortCalls.

“We are hoping the positive condition will continue until end of the year… then we will see from there if recovery from the crisis can be maintained,” Mendoza explained.

The airfreight forwarding sector is especially benefiting from an uptick in higher import and export shipments of electronic items and semiconductors, suggesting a recovery from the global economic crisis.

The forwarding industry’s optimism has, however, been clouded by concerns on higher fees.

“The only setback is the recent hike in fees applied by carriers resulting in higher overheads for us and reduced competitiveness,” Mendoza said.

Of late, some international shipping lines have begun restoring rates. At the height of the global crisis last year, international freight rates declined by as much as 75%, with a 20-foot container from Asia to Europe, for instance, costing $300 from the pre-crisis level of $1,000 and a 40-footer on the same route costing $450 from $2,500.

But recently, some international carriers in the Asia-Europe trade implemented an increase in rates, adding $300 to the cost of shipping a 20-footer and $600 for a 40-footer.

Despite the increases, rates are still nowhere near their pre-crisis levels.

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