Thursday, August 26, 2010

Overcapacity Could Force Transpacific Rates Down

(International Freighting Weekly – Mike King)

Forwarders claim lines have failed to impose surcharges as available space increases

Lines have failed to push through peak season surcharges (PSSs) on transpacific trades, and new capacity entering the market could see freight rates fall in the middle of the peak season, claim forwarders.

“Lines have been trying to impose the second PSS, but without much success,” said Paul Tsui, Chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics. “Not many customers are willing to pay, with so much additional capacity being added.”

A number of lines committed extra, short-term capacity to transpacific trades earlier this year to help alleviate equipment shortages and in response to criticism from shippers and the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission over rising freight costs, which some attributed to liner collusion.

In the coming weeks, the rise or fall of transpacific spot rates could depend on whether carriers are able and willing to move this temporary capacity to other trades, claim forwarder sources. Read more here.