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The Drewry Container Rate Benchmark for shipping containers from China to the U.S. West Coast jumped 21.5 percent in the week ended Aug. 15, as carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement implemented long-postponed peak season surcharges.
The benchmark for the average spot price for shipping a 40-foot-equivalent container unit from Hong Kong to Los Angeles rose to $1,853 per FEU from $1,525 in the previous week following several weeks of flat or sagging rates on major east-west shipping lanes.
The TSA originally published a voluntary guideline calling for a peak-season surcharge of $400 per FEU that was supposed to run from June 15 through Nov. 30, but postponed implementation for at least a month. After what turned out to be a two-month delay, the TSA announced the new Aug. 15 implementation date on Aug. 3.
Despite the hefty increase on Aug. 15, the benchmark rate was still 32.3 percent lower than the $2,737 per FEU rate in the same week last year. The rate is also 12.6 percent below the $2,119 per FEU high for 2011 in early January.
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