As reported by multiple industry sources, Transpacific ocean vessels continue to be over-booked and shippers are paying a premium to secure space for their containers. In addition, peak season volumes, which have occurred in July and August during four of the past five years, are expected to make the space situation even tighter as the summer progresses. According to industry pundits, these factors suggest a planned General Rate Increase (GRI) -- sought by ocean carriers and scheduled for August 1 -- will indeed "stick."
According to published reports from Drewry, Transpacific ocean freight rate levels have dropped 4.5% since January 1, 2014. Further, Drewry's most recent benchmark spot rate from Hong Kong to Los Angeles remains 15.7% lower than during the same week one year ago.
Ocean carriers are currently pushing to return rates to more sustainable levels, recommending a GRI of USD 600 per FEU for all cargo from the Far East to the U.S. and Canada. In addition, some carriers are proposing a Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) of USD 300-400 per FEU, as well as a second GRI of USD 400 per FEU, effective September 1.
SPARX logistics will continue to monitor this situation with our contracted carriers. As always, we are committed to mitigating any increases as much as possible on behalf of our customers.