NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Ocean, trucking and intermodal carriers are standing firm as they raise freight rates in an effort to recover losses in 2009. In this week's feature story, The Journal of Commerce analyzes this critical time period for pricing, the growing frustration among ocean shippers and carriers' strategies for raising rates to profitable levels.
For the first time since mid-2008, average ocean freight rates are increasing year-over-year. Experts predict domestic U.S. trucking rates will hold steady this year and those for domestic intermodal appear to already be bouncing back. Air cargo pricings, which rose in the run-up to the holidays, have softened but are no longer in free fall. After enduring the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, carriers across the board are standing firm, determined to make higher rates stick, in an effort to recover some of the billions of dollars they collectively lost in 2009. For ocean carriers, that has so far meant a unified front and resistance to rate undercutting that has dominated the industry in the past.
So far shippers are going along with the increases, but some are growing increasingly impatient with carriers' capacity-management initiatives such as those that have resulted in port delays in China.
The Journal of Commerce cover story analyzes this critical period in time for freight rate pricing, the growing frustration among ocean shippers who want "more bang for their buck," and the strategies ocean, trucking and intermodal carriers are employing to raise rates to profitable levels.
This week's issue also includes a comprehensive forecast of the 2010 trucking market, as the industry tries to stabilize after a rocky 2009 in which volumes and rates plummeted and bankruptcies soared. The fate of YRC Worldwide -- the nation's largest less-than-truckload carrier, which narrowly dodged bankruptcy protection in late December -- will influence how the year plays out for many.
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