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Trans-Pacific Contract Rates Up to East Coast, Flat to West Coast

(Peter Leach – Journal of Commerce)

Trans-Pacific ocean carriers have been digging in their heels to get rate increases in their 2014-2015 trans-Pacific ocean contracts and have been getting increases in some cases, especially on routes from Asia to East Coast ports, but rates negotiated for shipments from Asia to West Coast ports have been flat or lower than last year in some cases when bunker fuel surcharges are included in the rate.

The amount of the rate increases depends on the volume guaranteed by beneficial cargo owners. Under the freight contracts concluded as of last week, bigger importers have negotiated all-in rates including bunker charges of about $2,900 to $2,950 per 40-foot-equivalent units for all-water shipments from Asia to the East Coast, up slightly from $2,700-$2,750 per FEU last year, according to a source close to the negotiations who provided average negotiated rates on the condition of anonymity.

Under contracts negotiated so far, all-in rates from Asia to the West Coast are remaining about the same as last year at $1,600 to $1,650 per FEU. Trans-Pacific contracts usually start on May 1 but negotiations sometimes take longer. Not all the largest BCOs have concluded their contracts yet, and some of these may not be completed until mid-June. Click here to read more.