TACA announces 2004 rate hikes

TACA announces 2004 rate hikes

The Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement has announced a proposed westbound rate increase of $200 per 20-foot container and $250 per 40- or 45-foot container, effective April 1. Identical westbound rate hikes are slated to take effect July 1.

The TACA Secretariat issued a statement saying despite "constant efforts to reduce and eliminate costs throughout the entire area of providing and maintaining quality service, cost increases have been experienced." Charter rates, in particular, having risen sharply, and the conference's 2004 business plan seeks to recover part of such cost increases.

Although most ocean shipping contracts in the trans-Atlantic trade are negotiated outside of TACA, the increases serve as a benchmark in rate discussions between shippers and carriers.

The group said westbound volumes year-to-date show continuing growth in cargo flows of about 4 to 5 percent compared with the same period in 2002.

TACA said demand for westbound space is expected to remain strong for 2004 and projected tradewide supply-and-demand for 2004 is not anticipated to be materially different from the current year.

Members of TACA are ACL, NYK Line, Hapag-Lloyd, OOCL, Mediterranean Shipping Co., P&O Nedlloyd, and Maersk Sealand.