Container Index Shows Large Hike in Asia-to-Europe Rates

Press Release
Thursday, April 05, 2012

London - Today’s Shanghai-to-Rotterdam container freight rate assessment from the World Container Index (WCI), a joint venture between Drewry and The Cleartrade Exchange, shows that container freight rates in the westbound Asia-Europe corridor increased by 28 percent this week, adding upwards pricing pressure on shippers only one month after the previous large rate increases.

The World Container Index’s Shanghai-Rotterdam container freight rate sub-index went from $2,654 per 40-foot container on March 29 to $3,408 per 40-foot container on April 5, a rise of $754 per feu.

Carriers in the key Asia-Europe head haul trade had announced General Rate Increases (GRIs) of about $400 per teu (or $800 per 40-foot container) from April 1. The index shows that carriers were able to enforce the vast majority of the requested price increase.

“The World Container Index assessed by Drewry tracks and documents what is currently a dramatically volatile market,” said Philip Damas, director at Drewry. “This week’s rate increase results not only from the reduction in Asia-Europe operated capacities, but also from the new carrier behavior of announcing and sticking to large rate increases.”

“Looking ahead, we must question how sustainable these high Asia-to-Europe freight rates are, given the latent capacity currently parked by carriers and tramp owners, and given the expectation of deliveries of large new ships from the shipyards,” Damas added. 
 

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