It’s that time of year again; the Peak Season shipping season is nearly here. The topic of PSS during my contract negotiations this past April was an interesting one in that many of my carriers were willing to add a no PSS clause into our contracts. Prior year’s contract negotiations were much more difficult with many carriers, at a minimum, insisting on a mutual PSS clause in our contract language as many of the carriers were looking to recuperate previous losses.
Recently, many carriers and OTI’s have issued notice of Peak Season Surcharges somewhere in the neighborhood of the following with an effective date of August 1, 2013:
Dry Containers – Transpacific Eastbound Trade Lane
20′ – $320
40′ – $400
40′ HC – $450
It will be interesting to see how vessel space is over the coming months as peak shifts into full gear. I recently read an article on the JOC regarding the state of the US economic recovery which basically stated that the recent recovery has not brought as much container volume growth as expected. The article references a report by Jefferies, a global investment banking firm, that indicated that US container volume growth during first half of 2013 tracked well below retail sales indicating that exports from Asia have decreased due to various factors including less outsourcing of manufacturing to Asia and an increase in near-sourcing.
Import container growth, which was forecasted to come in roughly at 4 percent, is only tracking at 2.1 percent year over year versus a retail sales growth of 4.8 percent year over year for the first half of 2013.
With import container growth coming in below forecast, it will be interesting to see how successful the carriers are at implementing PSS and managing space as we head into the next few months. Regardless, let’s hope for a fairly uneventful 2013 peak season shipping season.