Asia to southern Africa freight rates hit seven year highs


Freight rates on the Asia to southern Africa trade are likely to continue to spiral after volumes saw healthy growth rates in the second quarter, according to analysis by Drewry.

Drewry said inbound flows had grown as importers had taken advantage of a partial recovery of the South African rand to restock. “After six months, the headhaul southbound market was up by 4.3%, well on course to record the first significant annual gain since 2013,” said the analyst in Container Insight Weekly (CIW).

Rising volumes should see rates continue to climb. “The numbers now prove that the Asia to Southern Africa market is growing, with spot rates at their highest in seven years,” said CIW.

“Freight rates should continue their ascent in this growing trade over the coming months as new capacity will be supported by greater volumes.”

As a result of renewed demand, Drewry said carriers were now adding capacity to the southbound trade with effective southbound slots estimated to have been up by 15% year-on-year in July. “Further additions that appear on schedules for August and September will raise that annual comparison yet again,” said the report.

“Southbound load factors were in the high-70s in May and June and should go higher still in the traditionally stronger second half of the year, even with the extra capacity.”