Trans-Pacific eastbound spot rates were flat for the third straight week, according to the weekly Drewry Hong Kong-Los Angeles container rate benchmark issued Wednesday. The rate stood at $2,213 per 40-foot container for the week, unchanged from the prior two weeks. The index began the year roughly 20 percent above the $1,832 index level on week 1 of 2012.
The index has slowly lost ground since mid-August, eroding 23 percent between early August and the end of the year because of more aggressive rate discounting versus earlier in the year when carriers successfully implemented a series of trans-Pacific eastbound GRIs. The index gained $45 per FEU or 2 percent in mid-December, but fell far short of the $400 per container that carriers were seeking in a mid-month general rate increase. Carriers in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement will attempt another, even higher $600 per FEU GRI to the West Coast on Jan. 15, “reaffirming their resolve to prevent discounting that spills over into 2013-14 contracts,” the TSA said on Dec. 18.