The TransPacific Westbound Rate Agreement said it will postpone its strike surcharge until Oct. 22.
The group also said that if a surcharge becomes necessary, it would be phased in over three weeks.TWRA's surcharge, which would take effect during a longshore strike, would defray added costs to carriers.
Both TWRA and the Asia North America Eastbound Rate Agreement originally planned to assess strike surcharges if needed on Aug. 15. Each has postponed its charges several times.
The two major rate-making groups originally announced extra charges of $1,000 per 40-foot boxes, with an extra fee of $875 per 20-foot container for TWRA and $500 extra per 20-foot box for Anera.
The International Longshoremen's Association, meanwhile, waged a three- day dock strike last week at ports from Maine to Virginia after its contract expired Sept. 30. It has agreed to extend negotiations until Nov. 17.
At an owners meeting in Kobe, Japan, TWRA members agreed to charge an extra $300 per 40-foot container on Oct. 22 if dockworkers are on strike.
On Nov. 6, the surcharge would increase to $600 and would move to $900 on Nov. 13. For 20-foot boxes, the extra fees would be $265 on Oct. 22, $530 on Nov. 6, and $795 on Nov. 13.
The charges would be billed only in case of "severe disruption" to traffic, the TWRA said.
Ronald B. Gottshall, The group's managing director, said each increment also could be adjusted, postponed or canceled. He said members decided to phase in the surcharge due to the price-sensitive nature of westbound cargo.
Surcharges would apply to all cargo shipped after Oct. 22, regardless of when freight is received. Currency adjustments on cargo would be calculated before surcharges are applied.
The proposed charges have been controversial with shippers, many of whom oppose paying extra fees if they don't ship through the East Coast.