Shipping lines that carry U.S. exports to Asia intend to increase their freight rates effective April 1 in a continuing attempt to recover from last year's recessionary rate levels.
The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a discussion group of 10 carriers in the trade from the U.S. to Asia, said its member lines intend to increase rates on dry cargo by $300 per 40-foot container and $240 per 20-foot container.
The WTSA also announced voluntary guidelines for refrigerated cargo. Reefer shipments from West Coast ports would increase by $300 per FEU and $240 per TEU. Reefer shipments on all-water services from the East Coast and intermodal rail shipments from inland destinations would increase by $500 per FEU and $400 per TEU.
Since the WTSA is a discussion agreement, it has anti-trust immunity to collectively discuss freight rates, but WTSA has no enforcement powers so its guidelines are always voluntary.
Despite "modest improvements" in freight rates in recent months, rates dipped so low in the second half of 2009 that they are at the same level they were at in early 2008, said Brian Conrad, executive director of the WTSA.
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