Transpacific carriers plan to “double down” on rates

As reported in LM, TSA had announced a March 15 $300 general rate increase which they expect to be widely applied, to address rates that remain below baseline levels at that time.

By ·

Having played their hand on an earlier rate hike announcement, the 15 member carriers in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) are recommending a further increase of $400 per 40-foot container (FEU) effective April 15, 2012.

As reported in LM, TSA had announced a March 15 $300 general rate increase (GRI) which they expect to be widely applied, to address rates that remain below baseline levels at that time.

According to TSA executive administrator Brian M. Conrad, The recommendation reaffirms the resolve of transpacific container lines to improve Asia-U.S. market rates as they move forward in a new round of contract talks with customers. The increase comes just ahead of the previously announced May 1 recommended increase of $500 per FEU for US West Coast cargo and $700 per FEU for all other shipments.

He spoke with LM and its sister publication, Supply Chain Management Review, last week in advance of his speech at a an industry event staged in Southern California focusing on Asia Pacific maritime issues.

Although at that time he did not signal another rate “adjustment,” he did indicate that rates might be hiked to sustain carrier operations:

“Current market uncertainty worldwide has made it difficult to plan for long-term reinvestment in and configuration of carriers’ global services,” he said Markets are increasingly news-driven and prone to wild swings.”

TSA lines also stressed that they remain committed to recovering record high fuel costs through separate bunker and inland fuel surcharges. They also say they intend to implement a peak season surcharge (PSS) later in the year, with the amount and duration to be determined soon, based on a review of anticipated market conditions moving into the summer and fall months.

“Carriers operating in the Pacific are at a critical juncture,” said Conrad. “Once again, as in 2009, we are back to a situation in which nearly all major carriers in the trade are moving cargo at a loss.  For any carrier rate or cost recovery effort to be meaningful in 2012-13, it must reflect an actual increase from rates in effect at the beginning of the previous year; and it cannot extend promotional short-term rates in select trade segments to all commodities and all routes for 12 months.”

Conrad pointed to the service consolidation already seen in the trade, including elimination of service strings, and deteriorating schedule reliability. “Supply and demand is no longer the only or even the primary consideration in carrier pricing,” he said. “The conversation needs to focus on sustained carrier viability and service quality in a major, recovering trade lane with complex and sophisticated service needs.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Asia · Ocean Cargo · Ocean Freight · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Refining TMS Integration Outside the Four Walls of the Warehouse
How shippers can use a modern transportation management system (TMS) to successfully integrate across the supply chain ecosystem and create a truly digital network.
Download Today!
From the October 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its key LTLs to lower transport costs, reduce its carbon footprint and improve service to its 565 store locations.
Q4 2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Improvements apparent; work remains
LM Viewpoint: Collaboration, Now more than ever
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
EDITORS' PICKS
SalonCentric: One Beautiful Network
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...

26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...