Containership charter rates fell for the first time in at least 16 months in what could be the first sign of container freight rates easing.
This is according to the HARPEX index produced by German shipbroker Harper Petersen (Harper Petersen Charter Rates Index), which reflects worldwide container ship charter market pricing based on actual weekly fixture reports.
The index is provided weekly based on rate assessments for nine classes of ships based on TEU size. Last week, the overall index fell to 3,936 after spending two weeks at 3,999.
The decline marked the first since June 2020 when the HARPEX hit a low of 412, just as economies began recovering from COVID-19 shutdowns and the pandemic changed the way we live, work and shop. Since then, the index has climbed about 870%, reflective of soaring freight rates that are hitting the bottom lines of businesses and driving inflation.
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