Transpacific carriers void more sailings and hike rates with peak season GRIs
TRANSPACIFIC ocean carriers are gambling on a good peak season and announcing some hefty rate increases - but they are being obliged to underpin these by voiding some headhaul voyages, The Loadstar of UK reported
TRANSPACIFIC ocean carriers are gambling on a good peak season and announcing some hefty rate increases - but they are being obliged to underpin these by voiding some headhaul voyages, The Loadstar of UK reported.
German carrier Hapag-Lloyd notified its eastbound transpacific customers of a US$700 per FEU general rate increase (GRI) effective August 1 to follow the big price hikes expected on the route next week.
Online digital booking platform Freightos said: 'All signs are pointing to a big transpacific GRI coming up.'
Freightos in its FBX container freight price update said: 'Blank sailings and advance orders, due to trade tariff threats, both support an increase,' noting that carriers were already advising forwarders of GRIs 'in the $300-$400 range, or higher'.
The Loadstar reported last week that CMA CGM subsidiary APL had announced a peak season surcharge (PSS) from Asia to the US and Canada of $1,000 per FEU from July 15, as carriers were rolling out blank-sailing programmes to mitigate an expected low seasonal demand'.
Alphaliner said container spot rates from Asia to the US west coast had fallen by 47 per cent from their peak in November, despite efforts by carriers to manage capacity growth on the route.
'Although July usually marks the start of the transpacific summer peak season, this year has proved exceptional, with the ongoing Sino-US trade war pulling down transpacific cargo volumes from China,' said the consultant.
According to Alphaliner data, the Ocean Alliance is leading the way in culling capacity by withdrawing three Asia-US west coast sailings next month, removing over 29,000 TEU of capacity from the market.
Meanwhile, US port statistics for May, compiled by New York consultant Blue Alpha Capital, show that imports into the 10 largest ports increased by a disappointingly year-on-year low of 0.5 per cent last month, to 1.7 million TEU.
This throughput figure was skewed by 7.9 per cent growth for the US east and Gulf ports, but US west coast gateways suffered a cumulative 5.3 per cent decline.
The consultant's founder, John D McCown, said: 'With no scheduled tariff increases when the containers were loaded, there was less incentive to front-load shipments and we're beginning to see the impact of tariffs. I anticipate weaker comparisons in June, from both tariffs and the impact of swollen mainland inventories being worked down.'
Mr McCown added that the situation would be 'exacerbated if they [tariffs] are expanded to cover all imports from China'.