COPENHAGEN Aug 18 A container shipping
organisation urged companies on Monday to raise Asia-U.S.
freight rates by at least $600 per 40-foot container (FEU),
corresponding to an increase of 14.2 percent from current
levels, from Sept. 1.
TSA (Transpacific Stabilization Agreement) said the planned
increase follows strong cargo demand and high vessel utilization
levels in recent months, which forward bookings suggest will
continue through September.
Its members include 15 of the world's biggest container
shipping lines such as Denmark's Maersk Line, a unit of A.P.
Moller-Maersk, privately owned Switzerland-based
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), French privately held CMA
CGM, China's COSCO Shipping, Korea's
Hanjin Shipping and others.
"Lines have made modest revenue gains to date this year, but
they continue to struggle in terms of returning to
profitability," TSA Executive Administrator Brian Conrad said in
TSA had also urged its members to hike freight rates by $600
per 40-foot container from Aug. 1, but rates have rapidly eroded
The container shipping industry has been struggling with
overcapacity because vessel capacity is outstripping volumes of
goods for transport as a result of the global economic downturn.
Over 90 percent of the world's trade is carried by sea, but
freight rates plunged to unprofitable levels for most carriers
in 2013 as a result of overcapacity in the market.
Spot freight rates are calculated and published every week
by Shanghai Shipping Exchange. Last week rates for transport of
40-foot containers from Asia to the U.S. West Coast stood at
Founded in 1989, the TSA calls itself a "research and
discussion forum of major container shipping lines" serving the
trade from Asia to the United States.
(Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen)