Ocean carriers’ failure to fully implement planned peak-season surcharges on the trans-Pacific trades in May has created a two-tier market, according to Alphaliner.
Non-vessel operating common carriers are paying $600 to $1,000 more than beneficial cargo owners to ship a 40-foot container on the Asia-U.S. West Coast route, the container market analyst said.
This is because peak-season surcharges have mainly affected the spot market, which is dominated by NVOCCs, while they have had minimal impact on contract rates for the large BCOs.
BCO shipments account for 61 percent of total Asia-U.S. volume. Spot market rates on the Asia-U.S. trade have risen $414 per 40-foot container in the last two weeks, according to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index report on June 15.
This steep increase reflects the carriers’ partial success in applying the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement’s recommended peak-season surcharge of $600 per 40 foot container set for June 10.
This SCFI Shanghai-U.S. West Coast rate has surged 93 percent to $2,739 per 40-foot box from $1,418 in December.
Mediterranean Shipping Co. “K” Line, China Container Shipping Line and Yang Ming, which have the largest exposure to NVOCCs among carriers on the trans-Pacific, will be the major beneficiaries of the partial implementation of the peak-season surcharge, according to Alphaliner.
Despite their success in raising spot rates, carriers’ average trans-Pacific revenue has trailed the increases on the SCFI. The China Containerized Freight Index, which measures average carrier revenue, shows rates from Asia to the U.S. have increased only 29 percent since December with the peak-season surcharges having a negligible impact in the past two weeks.
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