Transpacific ocean spot rates forecast to strengthen


Asia-US ocean spot rates are set to rise this week but Asia-Europe prices are forecast to soften having been largely stable last week, according to the World Container Index (WCI) assessed by Drewry.

“Loadings to Europe from Asia are soft in August, and as such, the GRIs lost traction this month,” said the analyst in its latest weekly freight rate assessments report.

“However, on the Transpacific trade, the peak season is kicking in, and carriers are revising their rates up for the second half of this month.”

The report underlined that rates on all routes originating from Asia had been stable last week. Rates on the Shanghai-Rotterdam route were steady at $1,754/TEU compared to $1,751/TEU the previous week, while on Shanghai-New York, they were $2,665/FEU versus $2,667 and unchanged on Shanghai to Los Angeles at $1,657/FEU.

Drewry expects rates on Asia-Europe to “pare down” this week, while rates to the US will strengthen.

The overall composite index of container freight rates on eight major routes to/from the US, Europe and Asia, was 0.3% lower last week at $1562.44/FEU. 

For the year to date, it stands at $1,545/FEU, which is $105 lower than the five-year average of $1,650/FEU but 29% higher than a year ago.

Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) show slight declines in rates on the previous week with the exception of the US West Coast trade where there was a minor increase.

Average spot prices on the Asia-North Europe trade fell 1.4% in the week ended 18 August to $918/TEU, and were down 2.1% on the Asia-Mediterranean trade to $831/TEU.

Average box spot rates on the US East Coast trade from Shanghai decreased 1.1% to $2,592/FEU, while to the US West Coast they were up 1.1% to $1,659/FEU.