As the peak shipping period approaches in the U.S. export trade to Asia, shipping lines in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) Westbound section are recommending minimum rate increases in key commodity categories that have seen steady rate erosion in recent months. TSA Westbound has adopted minimum guideline increases of US$100 per 40-foot container (FEU) via U.S. West Coast ports, $200 per FEU via East and Gulf Coast ports, and $100 per FEU for intermodal shipments, for six commodities – waste paper, metal scrap, plastic scrap and resin, lumber and logs, hay and agricultural products – effective no later than November 15. In the case of waste paper, lines also adopted guideline minimum rate levels via California ports which may lead to increases above the minimum levels.
TSA executive administrator Brian Conrad explained that the guideline is intended to be flexible, reflecting actions already taken by some carriers in October and different carrier views on the levels of increase achievable in different lane segments. “At the end of the day member lines are looking for increases of at least the levels in the guideline GRI,” he said. “Whether they achieve the goal by building on recent individual increases,
and the extent to which they pursue GRIs beyond the minimum levels, will be guided by market conditions and each carrier’s strategic objectives.”