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Freight Rate Cut for US Vegetable Exporters

Transpacific shipping lines serving the United States export trade to Asia say they will reduce a planned rate increase on shipments of "vegetable all kinds" (VAK) from US $200 per 40-foot container to $150, with proportionate adjustments for other equipment sizes and cargo otherwise rated. The increase, originally scheduled to take effect Jan 1, 2001, has additionally been put off to April 1, 2001.

Carriers in the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) said the changes reflect current slow demand in Asia, a smaller California crop this season due to weather, and an effort to give customers more time to plan their shipments in first-quarter 2001. Lines said the actions on VAK are in part the result of discussions with the shipper community, as well as individual market research. They reiterated the need for an increase in VAK rates, which showed marked declines during the 2000 shipping season.

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