In an attempt to stem the plummeting rates in east-west trade lanes, a discussion group of 15 major carriers operating in Asia is planning to implement interim rate hikes on January 1st of 2012.
The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) group says that its member lines plan to raise all-inclusive freight rates by a minimum of $400 per 40 FEU. They hope that the rate increases will help recoup losses in 2011 resulting from lowered demand and market uncertainty. The rate increases will apply to all shipments moving under individual carrier tariffs, as well as service contract cargo in all commodity segments where volume commitments have been met.
Freight rates in the US’s largest trading lane began sinking mid 2010 and have been deteriorating since then, some by more than 30% since the same point last year. Just this week, the trans-Pacific spot rates fell another 4.2 percent in the latest week, the second straight week-to-week drop. Although these rate hikes will be after the holiday-season surge in imports, the TSA anticipates a spike in January before the Chinese New Year celebrations.