RATES TO RISE ON OCEAN SHIPMENTS

NEW YORK — Despite a cooling in the growth of shipments of goods from Asia to North America, an organization of ocean carriers serving the Pacific said it plans to go ahead with its fourth year of annual price hikes, beginning May 1.
The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a San Francisco-based group of 14 major carriers, said it is still recommending that its members raise their rates to ship a standard 40-unit container from the Far East to the West Coast by $525, and to increase rates even more for deliveries that need to go further inland.
The group now expects the volume of goods crossing the Pacific Ocean eastbound to rise only 5 to 6 percent in 2001, substantially slower than the double-digit growth rates that have prevailed in recent years. However, it said that the continued high price of oil has taken its toll on carriers’ margins and that those costs need to be recovered.

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