Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Big trans-Pacific GRI in the works as carriers see capacity crunch coming

JOC Staff |
Nov 14, 2014 6:59PM EST
Carriers in the trans-Pacific eastbound trade will follow this week’s announcement of a $1,000 congestion surcharge with a proposed $1,000 per container rate increase to take effect in mid-December.
Sensing a capacity squeeze developing at a normally slow time of year, due in part to the effects of the port meltdown in Southern California, carriers will attempt to implement the largest one-time rate increase in many years. Hanjin yesterday disclosed a $1,000 per 40-foot container equivalent congestion surcharge.
Maersk Line communicated the increase in a notice to customers on Friday, but plans are for the full 15-member Transpacific Stabilization Agreement to announce the increase at some point next week. The increases announced by Maersk for all shipments from Asia to the U.S. and Canada are $900 per 20-foot container, $1,000 per 40-foot container.
The TSA rates will only cover Asia to U.S. routes. For a 40-foot container to the West Coast the increase would represent a 48 percent increase over the current Shanghai Containerized Freight Index spot rate of $2,090.
The rare opening to go for a substantial rate increase is the result of continuing strong volumes flowing from Asia to North America, as well as transportation factors such as a developing shortage of available containers in Asia, one informed source told That is due to difficulties carriers are experiencing repositioning empties from North America back to Asia due to the congestion being experienced at Los Angeles-Long Beach and other West Coast ports.