Container shipping lines in the Trans-Pacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) have made the first monthly adjustments to bunker and inland fuel surcharges, effective May 1, 2006, based on average prices over a four-week period during March. Earlier this year TSA announced that it would shift from quarterly to monthly adjustments beginning May 1, in order to more closely reflect current fuel price trends in the surcharge.

Member lines report that an overall increase in both marine and highway fuel prices during March will result in higher surcharges for the month of May. Effective May 1, the bunker fuel charge will be set at US$590 per 40-foot container (FEU), with proportionate increases for other equipment sizes and cargo otherwise rated. The inland fuel surcharge will be set at $179 per container for rail and combination rail/truck intermodal shipments, and $52 per container for local and short-haul regional trucking throughout West Coast states and the Eastern Seaboard.

TSA continues to use the same formulas as before to convert average world bunker fuel prices and US Department of Energy highway diesel fuel prices to per container surcharges based on container line purchasing and consumption patterns.

As part of the transition to monthly calculation, TSA lines will make a final quarterly adjustment of fuel charges effective April 1, based on the 13-week calculation period ending in the last week of February. That adjustment, in effect for the month of April, lowers the bunker charge to US$545 per FEU, and the inland fuel surcharge to $169 per container for long-haul rail and rail-truck intermodal and $49 per container for regional and local short-haul trucking.