The United States Department of Agriculture has teamed up with members of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement to enhance shipping and exports in the agricultural market by creating weekly projected equipment and container availability reports designed to increase efficiency and transparency of containers flows.
Current carriers including data for the initiative are APL, COSCO, Evergreen, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag Lloyd, Yang Ming Transportation Corporation, OOCL, NYK Line, K Line, and Hyundai Merchant Marine. The data is compiled each week to offer from information provided by these carriers from each of 18 intermodal locations regarding estimated container availability and supplies and is “based on up-to date bookings or reservation information in the westbound transpacific trade lane.”
Weekly data on container availability as well as overview data for up to 6 prior months is available from these lines in the following 18 locations:
- Charleston, SC
- Chicago, IL
- Cincinnati, OH
- Columbus, OH
- Dallas, TX
- Denver, CO
- Houston, TX
- Kansas City, MO
- Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA
- Memphis, TN
- Minneapolis, MN
- New Orleans, LA
- New York, NY
- Norfolk, VA
- Oakland, CA
- Savannah, GA
- Seattle and Tacoma, WA
Shippers can find the weekly reports, which also container more information on the initiative and how to read the reports, by visiting http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ATContainerReport.
The Federal Maritime has also weighed in on the new initiative, applauding the efforts of the USDA and the WTSA and urging full shipper participation. More information here: http://www.fmc.gov/chairman_lidinsky_applauds_new_usda_container_availability_report_and_urges_full_shipper_participation/.
 The “Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) is a research and discussion forum of container shipping lines operating in the trade lane from the U.S. to Asia.” http://www.wtsacarriers.org/home_nf.html
 http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5100091 (last visited August 28, 2012)