USDA adds online report to agriculture container shippers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has produced a new online publication that helps agricultural shippers better define costs and service availability in containerized ocean shipping.
The report, “Agricultural Container Indicators,” uses three indicators to show trends in the movement of shipping costs, variations in shipped volumes, and available capacity in the industry, the USDA said.
The report’s rate index is focused on both agricultural refrigerated and dry container traffic to Asia. The report also compares bunker fuel charges with world oil prices, as well as currency adjustment factor surcharges with current exchange rates. It also includes any rate increases published by carriers during each proceeding quarter.
The report shows monthly container volumes for agricultural exports to Asia, compared with a five-year average, and includes a guide to the total container capacity offered between the United States and Asia. “The capacity indicator allows shippers to view the percentage of ‘slots’ used and the number of ‘slots’ available in the U.S.-Asia trade lane,” USDA said.
“Each report gives a calculated percentage change for rates, surcharges, volume and capacity from the previous quarter and year,” USDA added. “Each indicator is supplemented with a brief analysis of the current market status as it relates to that indicator.”
The new report joins three other USDA publications pertaining to agricultural container shipping. They are the “Ocean Rate Bulletin,” and “Agricultural Ocean Transportation Trends.”
The Agricultural Container Indicators report is available online at http://www.ams.usda.gov/tmd2/agci.