Eastbound lines to raise rates
Fifteen major shipping lines serving the eastbound trade from Asia to the United States have resolved to raise tariff and service contract rates from May 1 to recover freight revenues lost last year.
However, the lines, member carriers in the Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement (TSA), have yet to decide on the size of the increase.
The TSA said carriers were continuing to review market and competitive considerations before deciding on the increase.
Hong Kong Shippers' Council executive director Clement Yeung said he had not received notice of the proposed increase.
TSA administrator Robert Peavy said carriers had lost significant revenue in 1995 and last year.
'With declines of US$600 to $1,000 per container since October 1995, affecting nearly all major commodity categories, carriers believe that the market will support a rate restoration effort,' he said.
'TSA began in late 1996 by focusing on the cost side, to make sure that carriers were not suffering double losses from declining rates coupled with rising shore-side costs on both sides of the Pacific.' The next step was to restore tariff and contract rates to acceptable levels, he said.