Member container shipping lines of the Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement (TSA) will levy a rate hike of US$300 per FEU on March 15 with another expected on May 1, both of which follow the January 15 increase of $300 per FEU.
Strong forward bookings suggest that the rate hike introduced on January 15 will hold through the important Lunar New Year period, according to Shipping Gazette.
The announcement comes as transpacific cargo demand has posted steady growth coming off a healthy holiday season, and container lines serving the Asia-US trade lane say the gains are so far reflected in freight rates.
"Carriers have left a lot of money on the table in this market as partially successful increases have been eroded over time," said TSA executive administrator Brian Conrad.
"There is now a growing sense that pent-up demand, depleted retail and business inventories, and a greater overall sense of economic security are converging in 2014. Lines are determined not to miss that opportunity."
At the same time, TSA also announced its 12-month revenue and cost recovery programme for 2014-15 contracts, which recommends increases to contract rates of $300 per FEU from 2013-14 levels for US west coast cargo and $400 per FEU for all other cargo.
"Simply rolling over last year's contract rates - let alone reducing the rates, as some shippers have requested - is just not workable," Mr Conrad said, reiterating that no major transpacific carrier operated profitably in the trade in 2012 or 2013.
"The goal is a meaningful net increase, with full cost recovery for fuel, chassis, free time and other costs, irrespective of supply/demand or other considerations," he said.
TSA members are APL, "K" Line, CSCL, Maersk, CMA CGM, MSC, Cosco, NYK, Evergreen, OOCL, Hanjin, Yangming, Hapag-Lloyd, Zim and Hyundai.