A group of container-shipping companies will reportedly seek rate increases of between 10 and 15 percent next year on cargo traveling to the United States from Asia. The group, the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, represents 14 container-shipping companies that handle goods ranging from clothes to electronics, toys and home furnishings. Cargo in the trade, of which the group handles more than 70 percent, has been valued at more than $200 billion a year.
The rate increases are scheduled to go into effect May 1, 2000.
The Oakland, Calif.-based Transpacific Stabilization Agreement represents major shipping lines including A.P. Moller-Maersk Line, Evergreen Marine Corp. and APL, a unit of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd.Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch has upgraded its intermediate-term rating on Dutch shipping and tank storage group Pakhoed NV to "accumulate" from "neutral," while keeping a long-term "accumulate" rating on the stock. Further details were not immediately available.