TSA hikes rate US$600/FEU February 9 to cover Chinese New Year rush

MEMBER Lines of the Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement (TSA) have announced a US$600 per FEU rate increase for cargo of all origins and destinations from February 9 in anticipation of a pre-Chinese New Year cargo rush from Asia to the United States.

"The increase is intended to ensure that carrier costs are adequately recovered coming out of the slower winter season," said the TSA statement.

"This is a very challenging operating environment for transpacific container lines," said TSA executive administrator Brian Conrad, "And it is critical to maintaining service levels that they not leave money on the table during the Lunar New Year period."

Mr Conrad said that while some carriers have reported profitability in the trade in recent quarters, it has come almost entirely from cost-cutting as revenues have shown only marginal improvement over time.

TSA members include APL, "K" Line, China Shipping, Maersk, CMA-CGM, MSC, Cosco, NYK, Evergreen Line, OOCL, Hanjin, Yangming, Hapag-Lloyd and Zim.