WTSA shipping lines to recover fuel costs
Major United States-Asia container shipping lines have
taken steps to recover rising fuel costs by collecting a greater share
of their published bunker fuel surcharges in cases where those surcharges
have been partially or fully absorbed into ocean freight rates.
A US$200 per FEU adjustment will be applied to collected
surcharge levels for wastepaper shipments. Proportionate adjustments
will be applied to shipments involving other equipment sizes, and to
cargo not rated on a per-container basis.
WTSA stressed that the scheduled adjustments still
do not achieve full recovery of fuel cost impacts reflected in the Agreement’s
published surcharge, which is set according to an established formula
and adjusted monthly as world bunker fuel prices fluctuate. The formula
has been in place, in its current form, since 2002 and is not intended
to recover carriers’ entire fuel costs but rather to address price volatility
that can add significantly to transpacific operating costs. Fuel today
accounts for half or more of total fixed operating cost per transpacific
sailing. World bunker fuel prices have more than doubled since 2005,
and increased by 65% during 2007 alone.