Monday, October 12, 2009

TSA Vow To Revise Shipping Container Rates Against Pressure From Shippers

Time for the Carrier Groups Freight Price Agreement to Prove its Worth.
Shipping News Feature

USA – ASIA – The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), a loose amalgam of the major cross ocean container freight carriers, have set their “agreed” rates for the trade commencing from June next year. In addition they have proposed a $400 levy from August 2010 to penalise shippers moving cargo at periods of peak volume.

Whether the organisation can restrict its members to the proposed rates, reaching back to 2008 levels, is a matter of conjecture. Membership of the group only calls for voluntary imposition of the terms and does not see itself as a cartel. Financial pressures to recoup funds lost during the downturn this year, containers moving at less than cost just to increase revenue, may well force some lines to bow to the wishes of their larger customers and offer lower prices to increase cargo volumes.

Historically the TSA members have nodded sagely in agreement whilst negotiating their own deals but they all now peer into the chasm of disaster which holds fleets of underused vessels with queues of irrevocable new builds ordered in happier times. The oversupply of available vessels will continue to put clients in the driving seat unless the fourteen or so members of the TSA show some backbone and mutual support.