The peak season for the freight shipping lines on the West Coast has been occurring since July and will continue until the holiday season in 2014. It is certainly a very busy time of year for the shipping companies that are involved with moving freight from the Far East and across the Pacific Ocean to the ports on the West Coast. After all, businesses need to get their products in before the holiday shopping season commences. Numerous businesses work with a trusted freight forwarder to ensure that their cargo gets to the port on time.
The top ocean freight carriers who service the West Coast ports are part of a forum known as a Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA). Recently, the TSA announced a major change. Starting September 1st, a General Rate Increase (GRI) of up to $600 for every 40-foot container is in the works for trans-Pacific freight coming from the Far East. This increase could impact ocean freight shipping rates for many shipments.
There are numerous reasons why the General Rate Increase is scheduled to occur. There are capacity issues on the vessels, with many ships close to full. Space onboard is very valuable during peak season. High utilization is occurring constantly. There is also a rising cost for trucking and rail transportation associated with containers. And after all, the shipping lines are trying to be profitable and the GRI is helping to cover expenses. Stay tuned for more updates this peak season concerning the GRI that is expected to be starting shortly.