Maersk first to cancel GRI and cut transpacific rates as China wades in
reportedly reduced its planned mid-September transpacific GRIs, thought to be
due to China’s move to step in to reduce freight rates on the trade.
Last week, Zest
Shipping Media reported that Chinese authorities planned to interfere in
pricing and capacity management on the transpacific as rates soared to record
founder of Zest, noted this morning that Maersk had quoted $4,200 for US west
coast, and $5,000 for the east coast, and it was now $3,900 and $4,700,
Other carriers are expected to follow Maersk
cancelled its September 15 GRI plan, he added, and “other carriers are expected
to follow Maersk”.
Mr Zhou said the
rate cuts were in response to decisions made at a conference for Chinese
authorities, on Friday, to limit capacity management and high rates, in an attempt
“to further stabilise foreign trade and maintain the stability of the
international container liner markets such as China and the United States”.
Most sensible thing to do right now says a consultant
“That would seem
to be the most sensible thing to do right now,” noted consultant Andy Lane on
LinkedIn. “The rates are already at a level where good voyage profits can be
made, and this is not the time to get too greedy.
“One can only hope
that when the market turns, which ultimately it will, that rates remain in the
profit-making range and don’t decline to loss-making, where they have been for
the majority of the past decade.”
Warning: the risks of government interference in rates and capacity
But last week, Sea
Intelligence’s Lars Jensen warned of the risks of government interference in
rates and capacity: “This would have an unprecedented impact on the market and,
more worryingly, potentially derail the carriers’ ability to manage capacity in
the face of extreme demand volatility.”