SOME of the world’s biggest shipping lines plan to raise freight rates for carrying non-refrigerated container cargo to Asia from the US, because of rising costs and increased demand from Asian factories.
The shipping lines, members of a group called the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, want to raise charges by US$200 per 40-foot container from February, the companies said in an e-mailed statement.
The increase applies to all dry cargo not otherwise subject to commodity-specific increases. “The recommended increase reflects a growing US-to-Asia cargo market,” the statement said, “and steadily rising equipment, inland transport, labor, capital, administrative and other costs.”
Shipping lines have been raising rates for trans-Pacific cargo as Asian factories buy more raw materials. The carriers earlier this year announced rate increases for wood products and scrap metal to Asia from the US.
The shipping group said products such as wood and scrap metal which it had previously announced rate increases won’t be affected by this announcement. It did not give more details.
WTSA is a voluntary discussion and research forum of 13 major container shipping lines serving the trade from ports and inland points in the US to destinations throughout Asia. Information on all recent and scheduled guideline actions adopted by WTSA can be found on the Agreement’s web site, www.wtsacarriers.org.
Other WTSA member lines are APL, China Shipping Group, Cosco, Hanjin Shipping Co, Hapag Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co, K Line, Mitsui OSK Lines, NYK, OOCL, and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp.
Meanwhile, member lines of the Informal Rate Agreement (IRA) covering Far East-Middle East trade routes will also implement four rate increases next year.
Effective April 1, the rate increase will be US$200 per TEU and US$400 per FEU.
On July 1, the rate will increase by a further US$200 per TEU and US$400 per FEU.
The peak season surcharge from August 1 will add another US$200 per TEU and US$400 per FEU.
A fourth quarter increase is also planned – an additional US$100 per TEU and US$200 per FEU.
IRA member lines are APL, China Shipping Container Lines, CMA, CGM and ANL, Cosco, Evergreen Marine Corporation, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, Maersk Sealand, MOL, NYK, Norasia Container Lines, Orient Overseas Container Line, P&O Nedlloyd, Pacific International Lines, Tokyo Senpaku Kaisha, United Arab Shipping Company, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines, Wan Hai Lines, and Yang Ming Transport Company.