Box rates ex-China continue slow slide

5/23/2017

Container spot rates ex-China last week continued their gradual slide since the start of May, with the slow erosion of the 1 May general rate increases (GRIs) imposed by major carriers.

According to the World Container Index (WCI) assessed by Drewry, Shanghai to Rotterdam spot prices fell a further 3% or US$58 to $1,811 for a 40ft box last week, while Shanghai-Los Angeles and Shanghai-New York average spot prices fell by another 9% and 3%, respectively, to $1,407 and $2,442 per feu.

That continued on from falls in average spot prices the previous week of around 3% on the benchmark Shanghai to Rotterdam and Shanghai to Los Angeles lanes as the GRIs began getting discounted - following a 23% increase in ocean freight spot rates for containers on the benchmark Shanghai-Rotterdam lane the previous week, in part driven up by backlogs at China‚Äôs hub ports.

As of 18 May, the World Container Index assessed by Drewry, a composite of container freight rates on eight major routes to and from the US, Europe and Asia, is down by 3.6% to 1,500 per 40ft container, although it remains up by 43% from the same period of 2016.

The average composite index figure for the year to date is US$1,587 per 40ft container, $118 lower than the five-year average of $1,705 per 40ft container, but 43% higher than a year ago.