THE Transpacific Westbound Rate Agreement (TWRA) has filed a change in its credit rules from April 1, shortening the period for which credit is extended to customers.
An agreement statement said the move was part of continuing efforts to better manage costs.
It said the credit period on cargo moving to Asian destinations via Atlantic and US Gulf port gateways would be adjusted from 30 days to 25 days.
The credit period on cargo moving via the US west coast would be adjusted from 21 days to 16 days.
TWRA managing director Ronald Gottshall emphasised that the change represented a return to credit terms which were in place as recently as January last year.
''As a favour to our customers during a difficult recessionary period, we tried to be flexible on the issue of credit,'' he said.
''But carriers' own needs for a steady and predictable revenue stream made it impossible to continue carrying the cost of these freight charges, in the large volumes we handle, over the longer time period ,'' he said.
TWRA is a rate-making group of nine ocean and inter-modal carriers serving the trade from ports and inland points in the US to destinations throughout Asia.
Meanwhile, the Hongkong Shippers Council has said that although it had discussions with the Intra-Asia Discussion Agreement, (IADA) the agreement would go ahead with increases to Hongkong terminal handling charges from April 1 to meet land cost recovery.
Mr Mark Simon, an IADA spokesman, said the THC would be increased to $1,000 per 20 ft equivalent unit (TEU) and $1,500 per 40 ft equivalent unit (FEU) and $40 per revenue tonne.