Proposed shipping hikes could hit scrap exports

Dec 22, 2009 | 11:47 AM | Frank Haflich

A move by major shipping lines to boost rates to Asia next year would raise the cost of exporting containerized ferrous scrap from the United States, although it appears unlikely to wipe out its overall competitiveness with bulk shipments.

The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA), a group of 10 major lines that carry freight from the United States to Asia, said it is "recommending" to its members that they implement a new 2010 "general rate increase" for dry cargo rates that range from $80 to $150 per container, depending on the container size and port of shipment.

The WTSA said the adjustments, which would be effective Feb. 15, are "part of a larger 2010 revenue program which is to include quarterly increases throughout the year as market conditions dictate."

There's typically a lot more eastbound shipment of goods from Asia to the United States than the reverse. But Brian M. Conrad, executive administrator for the WTSA, made it plain that a "very tough business environment" next year means that the lines' Asia-bound business must help shoulder the load of a declining revenue environment.....

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