March ocean freight price push fails to gain traction

3/14/2017

Average ocean freight spot rates on the major east-west trades are continuing their journey south as attempted March rate hikes look set to fail to gain traction, although head-haul prices remain up to 80% higher on Asia-Europe trades and 50% higher on transpacific trades compared with the same time last year.

Following small advances last week in the Asia-Europe spot market in the lead-up to proposed increases, the latest Shanghai Containerised Freight Index shows average Asia-Europe rates falling for the coming week by 4.9% to US$876 per loaded 20 ft unit, and 3.2% to $854 per teu for Asia-Mediterranean cargo, while transpacific rates look set for single-digit declines this week.

But compared with the same period last year, the SCFI average for rates on services to northern Europe and the Mediterranean are up 80% and 59.3%, respectively, while Asia-US east coast routes rates are up 52.1% and Asia-US west coast rates show a 45.5% improvement.