Spot container freight rates hit all time lows

Spot container freight rates on the main East – West trades have hit have hit the their lowest levels in five years according to Drewry’s World Container Index (WCI).

The WCI that tracks rates on the Asia – Europe, transatlantic and transpacific trades slumped to $701 per feu on Thursday, the lowest level since the index started in June 2011.

“The World Container Index’s composite index is now 60% lower than the average of the past 5 years and has decreased by 62% in the past year,” said Richard Heath, director of WCI.

WCI said the assessments for the Shanghai-Rotterdam and the Shanghai-Genoa routes fell to all-time lows of $354 and $341 per FEU.

The Shanghai Contaierised Freight Index (SCFI) has also registered its lowest level ever on the Asia – Europe trade with it reporting rate of $231 per TEU between Asia and North Europe, and $236 per between Asia and the Mediterranean at the end of last week.

On the transpacific WCI said rates remained slightly above all time lows at $878 per FEU on the Shanghai – Los Angeles route.

Due to overcapacity on the Asia – Europe trade CMA CGM is shifting six 18,000 TEU vessels to the transpacific trade, the first time such ultra-large vessels have been deployed into the US West Coast.

Drewry director Phililp Damas said, “Rate reductions are spreading across all routes, as the shipping market continues to soften. This is good news for shippers’ cost budgets, as the latest average index value of $701 per 40ft represents an expense of less than 10 cents per km and makes products competitive even in remote markets.”



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