US ports slash rates
East coast ports in the United States have reduced rates by as much as 30 per cent on US$80 billion of cargo to attract trade from other ports, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Philadelphia cut one of its cargo rates by 29 per cent, while rates have been reduced by 17 per cent at the port of New York and New Jersey, 14 per cent in Boston and 13 per cent in Baltimore.
Analysts said the reductions might not immediately increase the ports' cargo because of long-term contracts between ports and shipping companies.
US east and Gulf coast ports in October signed a contract with dock-workers that granted lower wage increases than a similar one on the west coast, which could shift $4 billion in Asian trade to the east coast from the west.