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Japanese Shipping Merger:

The November 1st GRI primarily affected exports originating in the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma, and Oakland), as well as inland locations that require rail services to port (Chicago, Kansas City, Cleveland, etc.). The Nov 1st GRI was the second general rate increase in the fourth quarter of 2016 which stemmed from a handful of industry wide influences including the bankruptcy of Hanjin shipping line. Other industry wide announcements that may lead to price fluctuations include the recently declared merger of Japan’s three largest shipping companies, Nippon Yusen K.K. (NYK), Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL), and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (Kline) which was announced on Monday October 31st.  While this joint venture won’t begin operating until April 2018, it may greatly influence market rates for both imports and exports.


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