U.S./AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND CARRIERS INCREASE RATES
The conference carriers of the United States Australasia Agreement are planning large increases in southbound rates from the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand in April to reverse recent declines in their freight revenues.
The conference has announced rate increases of $350 per 20-foot container and $575 per 40-footer on all cargoes from the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand, effective April 1.
“Carriers will promote these increases throughout the trade,” a spokesman for the conference said. “During 1999, rate levels have fallen dramatically and have in essence lowered ocean freight revenues by approximately 20 percent.”
The conference added that, during this period, carriers’ operating expenses have steadily increased. Fuel, land transportation and labor cost have risen and carriers faced unsatisfactory terminal productivity in Australia and terminal congestion in Southern California, the carrier group said.
At a recent meeting of carriers providing direct service in the Australia and New Zealand trade from the U.S., the shipping lines discussed current trade lane conditions. Growth within the trade has increased in the last two quarters, with the Australian and New Zealand economies showing strength, the conference reported.
“After careful review of the overall trading and operating environment, the carriers see no alternative but to introduce a revenue program,” the conference said, commenting on the rate increases.
The carriers of the U.S./Australasia conference are Australia-New Zealand Direct Line, Columbus Line, CMA CGM, Contship Containerlines, P&O Nedlloyd and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.