Freight Rate Volatility to be highlighted at the 2013 TPM Conference

Dec 19, 2012, 16:44 ET from The Journal of Commerce

NEWARK, N.J., Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Last week Asia to Europe spot container rates soared 35% in a single week. Asia to Mediterranean rates were up 66% last week, while trans-Pacific rates climbed as well. In October, rates surged by roughly the same amount only to give up all of those gains in subsequent weeks. As Alphaliner analyst Hua Joo Tan told TPM Asia in October, "2012 has been the most volatile in the industry's history as far as the rates are concerned," while SeaIntel said this week that "for all seven major deep-sea trades out of Asia, the market is becoming increasingly erratic. This poses a significant challenge for carriers and shippers alike."

The increasing volatility of ocean container freight rates will be a key topic discussed at the 2013 TPM conference on March 3-6 in Long Beach. One of the largest container shipping and logistics conferences in the world, TPM is a key annual gathering for major shippers, carriers, 3PLs, ports, railroads and other participants in the ocean container supply chain.

Although container rates have long been volatile, many believe the level of volatility now being witnessed in the major east-west markets is unprecedented. It is the results of several factors, including persistent overcapacity that is resulting in more frequent additions and withdrawals of tonnage from major trades as carriers constantly adjust to maintain a balance of supply and demand.

Two sessions at the 2013 TPM will address this issue specifically. The opening market session on the morning of Monday, March 4 will feature Hua Joo Tan of Alphaliner, Hong Kong based transport investment analyst Johnson Leung and JOC/PIERS economist Mario Moreno offering an outlook of what 2013 looks like two months into the new year. The second session will focus on index-linked contracts, a relatively new type of service contract in which shippers and carriers tie rates to published indices like the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, CTS or other indices as a way to mitigate volatility. That session will be led by Ed Sands, Logistics Global Practice Leader at Procurian and will feature BCOs including Gregg Ramos, Global Director Transportation & Execution, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Timed at the start of the service contract negotiating cycle for the eastbound trans-Pacific, TPM is a content-rich event featuring dozens of senior-level industry executives addressing the most topical and pressing issues. The program is developed by the JOC editorial team including Bill Mongelluzzo, Joseph Bonney, Peter Leach, and consultant Barry Horowitz based on their extensive experience and industry coverage. TPM has become a must-attend event timed to the beginning of the annual service contract negotiating cycle, bringing together senior executives from across the full global container supply chain. Last year's attendance of more than 1,800 people broke event records. TPM is now the largest event of its kind in the world.

For more information, follow TPM on Twitter @TPMconferences and, for the complete TPM 2013 agenda, or to register, visit

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SOURCE The Journal of Commerce