Transpacific container lines in the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) have recommended a $50 per 40-foot container (FEU) increase in US-Asia waste paper rates, effective September 1, 2006, as part of an ongoing effort to address rising cargo handling and equipment positioning costs in Asia.

WTSA said the action reflects both the high volume of waste paper moving in the US-Asia container trade, as well as the unique characteristics and routing of the cargo. Waste paper accounts for more than 20% of total cargo moving in the westbound transpacific market. Shipments grew 13.3% in 2005, to some 426,000 FEU. Containers loaded with waste paper typically incur high cleaning, maintenance and trucking costs in Asia after the cargo is delivered, in order to reposition them for eastbound loading. These cost impacts are multiplied by the high volumes at which waste paper moves.