Monday, March 24, 2008

Lower Shipping Prices on the Horizon?

"Sharp Fall in Transpacific Cargo"(China Economic Review). With a potentially severe recession in the US, it's not surprising the amount of cargo shipped to the US has fallen nearly 9%. Add the significant increase in transpacific ocean capacity and ocean rates are probably about to get a lot more competitive.

Whether or not these reduced loads will impact inland shipping costs - which can account for almost half of overall shipping costs from China to the east coast in North America is a more open question given higher fuel costs make costs in general more variable in nature (versus fixed for ocean freight). Unfortunately this respite may be temporary in the deluge of overall cost pressures from China - from reporting requirements, energy costs, currency appreciation, to local inflation.

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