Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Down Again Ahead of January GRI

Transpacific spot rates slipped at the end of December , losing a significant portion of the gains from the GRI imposed by carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) in mid-December. Hong Kong to Los Angeles benchmark spot rate dropped 20 percent in the week of December 31st  to $1,975 per 40-foot container (FEU). Spot rates soared by $682 per container following a $1,000 per FEU rate hike by the TSA on Dec. 15. In the subsequent two weeks, rates  dropped $429 per FEU. TSA members plan another $1,000 per-FEU GRI for January 15th to lift prices on the lane.

While West Coast lanes struggle to maintain rates, the East has entered 2015 with steady rates. East Coast rates were up substantially throughout 2014, reflecting diversions that began early in the year to avoid potential disruption around the July 1 expiration of the West Coast longshore contract. Through the last week of December, East Coast dropped 0.8 percent or $40 to $4,498 per FEU.

East Coast rates are up 50 percent versus mid-December in 2013. With no West Coast contract and the continued delays at Los Angeles-Long Beach, East Coast services will likely remain at a premium.