Ocean carriers float plans for trans-Pacific freight rate hike
ProcurementLeaders.com - Feb 15th 2012, 09:20
Ocean carriers are floating plans to increase import trans-Pacific freight rates by $800 per 40-foot container.
Brian Conrad, executive administrator of the Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement - the 15-carrier group that announced increases on February 9 – said the move was being considered to reverse the estimated $5bn in losses container lines suffered in 2011.
"If carriers adopt a marginal increase that only partially offsets huge losses as costs continue to rise, the result is another 18 months of losses. This year in particular, rate recovery must be meaningful in order to maintain service levels and, ultimately, carrier viability," Conrad said.
The TSA announcement and the timing of 2012 TPM come as shippers and carriers begin the annual service contract negotiating cycle that culminates when most eastbound service contracts renew on May 1.
"The market will be in flux headed into TPM this year, with carriers aiming for a large rate increase against a backdrop of global overcapacity but also rising layups," said Peter Tirschwell, senior vice president for The Journal of Commerce.
"That, by itself, will make for an interesting market outlook session and indeed an interesting event this year."
The proposed increases will be discussed at the forthcoming 2012 Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference, starting on March 5 in California.
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