PACIFIC CARRIERS TO REVERSE FALL IN U.S.-TO-ASIA RATES ON FRUIT
Shipping lines of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement plan to raise westbound rates on shipments of summer fruit, saying rates have fallen in recent years and do not cover their costs.
The group's 14 shipping lines have adopted “guideline minimum freight rates” for shipments of cherries, grapes, prunes, plums and stone fruit. The new rates are voluntary and subject to individual contract negotiations.
The carrier group said the increases are aimed at more fully covering handling costs and assuring container equipment availability for these high-end perishable crops.
For the period June 1-Dec. 31, WTSA member carriers have recommended minimum guideline tariff rates for stone fruit in the amounts of $3,450 per 40-foot container to North Asia, and $3,750 per 40-foot to ports in China and South Asia.
For the same period, they adopted recommendations on minimum rates for grapes, prunes and plums of $3,250 per 40-foot box to North Asia and $3,550 per 40-foot container to China and South Asia. For cherries, the minimum rates are $5,600 per 40-foot container to North Asia and $5,900 per 40-footer to China and South Asia.
All recommended minimum rates are exclusive of applicable destination terminal handling, bunker fuel charges, Alameda Corridor charges and documentation fees.
“Rates have reached a point where it is difficult for carriers to commit costly refrigerated and temperature-controlled equipment to the Pacific, where there is relatively low refrigerated cargo demand on the return sailing from Asia, while routing to other trades is more profitable,” the carrier group said in a statement.
WTSA carriers are: APL, China Shipping Group, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine Corp., Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, “K” Line, MOL, NYK, Orient Overseas Container Line, P&O Nedlloyd and Yang Ming.
In March, WTSA lines also reaffirmed a plan to increase westbound rates from the U.S. to Asia for refrigerated beef, pork and poultry, effective July 1.