Ocean carriers were unable to increase freight rates between the Mediterranean and North America from November to January due to continuing poor vessel utilisation and the approaching threat of P3, according to the latest edition of Drewry's Container Insight Weekly.
According to Drewry’s Container Freight Rate Insight, the average all-in freight rate quoted to forwarders for spot cargo from Genoa to New York remained a poor $1,950/40ft throughout.
New York’s port difficulties may have been a problem for ocean carriers, however, as the average freight rate from Genoa to Houston declined from $1,820/40ft to $1,760/40ft, and the average from Genoa to Montreal fell from $3,240/40ft to $3,110/40ft.
Industry sources say that westbound contract freight rate levels also fell at the beginning of January, prompted by concern over future market share once the P3’s new services are launched in 2Q 14. With a current 49% market share of effective vessel capacity, the combination of Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM represents a powerful alliance, even though each will continue to price itself separately.
Source: Drewry's Container Insight Weekly