U.S.-Asia container lines increase freight rates on forest products, effective Oct. 1

OAKLAND, Calif. , August 20, 2007 (press release) – Member shipping lines in the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) have adopted guideline rate increases of US$100 per 40-foot container (FEU) and $80 per 20-foot container (TEU) for port-to-port forest products shipments, and of $150 per FEU and $120 per TEU for intermodal moves, to take effect October 1, 2007.

WTSA carriers said the increases are needed to help ensure equipment availability as the U.S. export market to Asia picks up and as demand for empty equipment intensifies in the Asia-Europe and intra-Asia markets, as well in the eastbound Asia-U.S. segment, given current imbalances. Lines add that, as more forest products migrate to containers from bulk rail movement, railroads continue to raise their container rates for those cargoes. Nearly 226,000 FEU of U.S. forest products were shipped to Asia in 2006, including woodpulp, lumber and logs, kraft linerboard, paperboard, plywood, newsprint and paper products.

WTSA is a voluntary discussion and research forum of 10 major container shipping lines serving the trade from ports and inland points in the U.S. to destinations throughout Asia. Information on all recent and scheduled guideline actions adopted by WTSA can be found on the Agreement’s web site, www.wtsacarriers.org.

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