TSA: Asia/U. S. container market grew 11% in 2005
Shipping lines of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) have indicated the Asia/U.S. container market posted cargo growth of about 11 percent in 2005, based on yet-to-be-completed figures.
The TSA said the increase was largely driven by retail import merchandise and business purchases of industrial inputs, computers and other such equipment.
The TSA said Asia/U.S. freight bookings eased slightly in December with most ships running at approximately 85 percent utilization.
“Home prices rose, gas prices fell, the job numbers were positive and U.S. consumers posted a strong showing in December,” said Albert A. Pierce, the TSA’s executive director. “We’re continuing to see post-holiday sale and fulfillment cargo moving, taking us into a slight Lunar New Year dip and then the first spring shipments; overall we see a very healthy market in the year ahead.”
According to the January World Liner Supply reports of ComPair Data, fourth quarter 2005 capacity in the transpacific declined 2 percent, with Asia/U.S. West Coast services reduced 3 percent and Asia/U.S. East Coast services up 1 percent.
Capacity is in line with demand due to “infrastructure constraints on new, larger ships entering the Asia/U.S. market, from port channel depths to terminal yard operations to inland rail delays,” the TSA said.
“It’s a stable situation right now. Cargo is moving, rates are already at favorable levels for shippers, and most of the focus is on beginning contract discussions for the coming year,” Pierce said.
TSA members are: American President Lines, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, COSCO Container Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Evergreen Marine, Orient Overseas Container Line, Hanjin Shipping Co., Hapag-Lloyd, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Yang Ming Marine and Hyundai Merchant Marine.