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Indiaexportnews.com

WTSA lines to raise U.S.-Asia chilled vegetable rates

  11.04.2006    

Container shipping lines in the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) have agreed on the need to raise freight rates for chilled “vegetable all kinds” (VAK).
Effective May 5, 2006, WTSA carriers say they intend to raise VAK rates by US$300 per 40-foot container (FEU) and $240 per 20-foot container (TEU). Chilled vegetable rates are tracked and adjusted separately from frozen vegetable rates. WTSA last increased VAK rates in May 2005. Since then, costs have increased significantly in the U.S.-Asia freight market, particularly for service-intensive segments such as VAK.
Temperature-controlled equipment, WTSA noted, is experiencing higher demand and shorter supply in the westbound transpacific trade, with a portion of the temperature-controlled container fleet having migrated to other trades since Asia cut meat and poultry purchases in 2003. Operating and maintenance costs for refrigerated equipment are increasing throughout the intermodal move from interior U.S. points. Westbound Panama Canal transit fees rose sharply last year, and a second stage increase is planned later this summer. Refrigerated backhaul opportunities from Asia are limited, further cutting into revenues.

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