Lines set to buck trend: Peak rates to be applied

Members of the Asia Australia Discussion Agreement have decided to push ahead with the annual peak season surcharge in the North and East Asia-Australia trade, despite the sea freight rates continuing to fall.

The southbound PSS was originally scheduled for August 15 2010, but will now be introduced on September 1, officially at US $300 per teu and US $600 per feu. AADA has not nominated the duration of the PSS.

Carriers are “reasonably optimistic” the surcharge will stick as volumes rise, although evidence provided by the latest Shanghai Containerised Freight Index suggests rates are still heading determinedly down.

As of Friday August 6, the average cost of shipping a container from Shanghai to Melbourne – blue water rate plus all surcharges – was US $863, down US $42 since the previous week.

The Index in the Oceania trade has now dropped almost 50% since January. Meanwhile, the five members of the United States Australia Discussion Agreement have decided to impose a general rate increase of US $125 per teu and US $250 per teu on September 15.

The GRI applies to all dry and refrigerated shipments moving from the US to ports in Australia and New Zealand but is non-binding under discussion agreement principles.

Source: Lloyd’s List DCN