Container shipping lines are continuing to add new services to eastbound trans-Pacific trade lanes as strong demand and record high freight rates attract more carry capacity for Asia-to-North America cargoes. Honolulu-based shipowner Matson launched its first direct service this week to the Port of Oakland, California, from China, the port said Aug. 4. The service will call on the ports of Ningbo and Shanghai in China before stopping at Oakland and Long Beach.
But the sustained surge in Asia-to-North America container rates as demand greatly exceeds carrying capacity has attracted new service providers. Platts assessments for North Asia-to-West Coast North America rates rose by 151% from a year ago to $7,900/FEU Aug. 4, while rates from North Asia to East Coast North America climbed by 154% to $8,900/FEU over the same period.
But capacity growth on trans-Pacific trade lanes did not necessarily keep in step with volume growth. Some shipowners reported needing 20%-25% more fleet capacity just to counter congestion as tonnage gets stuck at ports in both the US and Asia, Alphaliner said.Container shipping lines launch new trans-Pacific services as record rates pull in capacity | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide