Major container lines transporting cargo from the U.S. to Asia are recommending 2007 freight rate increases for chilled “vegetables, all kinds” (VAK). Effective May 1, 2007, current VAK rates charged by member lines in the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) are to be raised by US$200 per 40-foot container (FEU) for all origins and destinations.
While the WTSA guideline increases are voluntary for members, the Agreement noted that chilled produce ranks among the costliest commodities to ship across the Pacific, in terms of the specialized temperature-controlled equipment required, personnel to monitor shipments on each leg of the move, and more complex cargo handling and customs procedures at destination. In addition, WTSA lines note that inland trucking and rail costs have risen sharply during the past year and are expected to increase further in 2007, while demand and higher rates in other trades continue to draw equipment from the transpacific market.
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