Rates for containerized ocean shipping exports from the United States to Asia are sliding as a sharp upturn in vessel capacity offsets relatively strong demand for U.S. goods, according to a shipping executive on the westbound trade lanes.
"Right now rates are crashing," Ed Zaninelli, vice president of trans-Pacific westbound at Orient Overseas Container Line, told the Agriculture Transportation Coalition in San Francisco.
Vessel capacity is up 19.3 percent over last year, when about 10 percent of the global shipping fleet was laid up, Zaninelli said, citing reports from industry analysts Alphaliner, but less than 1 percent of the fleet remains inactive.
Container volume is relatively strong in both directions in the trans-Pacific and is projected to remain so for the rest of the year, with industry analysts forecasting an increase of around 6.5 percent eastbound and 11.3 percent westbound, according to Brian Conrad, executive administrator of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement.
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