Container shipping lines in the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement have announced a recommended Oct. 1 general rate increase of $160 per 20-foot container and $200 per 40-footer for all dry commodities to and from all origins and destinations.
The carrier discussion group has antitrust authority to discuss rates and agree on voluntary guidelines but cannot set rates collectively.
The WTSA said carriers have cut rates to accommodate shippers during a period of weak demand. The discussion group said its lines’ first quarter volume rose 3.5 percent to 800,000 40-foot-equivalent units, but that carrier bookings indicate volume gains have weakened recently and that rates have followed suit.
“The problem is that moving rates for many commodities have slipped to levels that no longer reflect the value of the service or make an adequate contribution to the round trip voyage,” WTSA Executive Administrator Brian M. Conrad said. “Carriers anticipate an upturn in the typically busy months ahead and feel a need to make up lost ground in terms of revenue.”