The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement said its member carriers plan to implement targeted rate increases on export commodities Nov. 1.
The 10-carrier discussion agreement’s antitrust immunity allows it to recommend rate levels set individually by carriers. The WTSA said rates for many export commodities have fallen to unsustainable levels, prompting a commodity-by-commodity review.
Because increases will vary by commodity, WTSA lines will notify customers when rate increases are determined, and will post the changes on the WTSA Web site.
Initial cargo segments to be reviewed for rate increases include wastepaper; metal and plastic scrap; refrigerated beef, pork and poultry; hay; hides; agricultural products; chemicals; clay; forest products, dry miscellaneous freight-all-kinds cargo and refrigerated “not otherwise specified” cargo such as dairy products, baked goods or other prepared foods that are not covered under any commodity-specific review. Cotton rates will be reviewed under a separate seasonal schedule.
WTSA Executive Adminstrator Brian M. Conrad said a previous round of scheduled increases last July had limited success and rate levels have eroded since then. He said shortages and higher prices and lease rates for refrigerated containers have raised costs while revenue lags.
“We’re hoping that market fundamentals will be more supportive of rate improvement in the coming months as we move into the winter period when westbound volumes typically start to improve,” he said.
WTSA members are APL, Cosco, Evergreen, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai, “K” Line, NYK, OOCL and Yang Ming.