After a two-month delay, the 15 container lines that belong to the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement announced peak season surcharges as of Aug. 15.
The TSA said in its announcement Wednesday that its members are seeing “positive indications of a peak season on the horizon, as retailers begin re-stocking shelves for the back-to-school and holiday seasons and as businesses resume global sourcing of materials and components.”
The TSA had published a voluntary guideline for its members that called for a peak-season surcharge of $400 per 40-foot container unit that was supposed to run from June 15 through Nov. 30, but on June 7 it postponed implementation for at least a month.
TSA executive administrator Brian M. Conrad said the TSA carriers have recently experienced a steady increase in traffic, which “suggests steady, stronger demand in the three months to come.”
Conrad said the consensus among TSA carriers is that the eastbound trans-Pacific trade lane has begun the seasonal ramp-up to a peak, based on “more robust forward-bookings and other favorable market signals.”
In the TSA announcement Conrad also said that carriers’ costs are also rising in line with cargo demand.
“Owned and leased container equipment remains in short supply, with prices at a premium. Inland rail and trucking Railroads and trucking charges have risen on key routes. End to end costs of repositioning empty containers back to Asia have increased, with no offsetting revenue. Cargo handling, documentation and customer service costs are up, especially in local Asian currencies relative to dollar-denominated freight rates. These costs dramatically escalate during peak periods,” he said.
TSA members include APL, China Shipping, CMA-CGM, COSCO, Evergreen Line, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, "K" Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., NYK Line, Orient Overseas Container Line, Yangming Marine Transport and Zim Integrated Shipping Services.