Container shipping costs have continued to rise, but the trend has not been uniform across all trades and Drewry is expecting rate levels to fall in the final months of the year. Pricing on Asia origin trades has been buoyed by peak season volumes, but as the trade enters the shoulder season still plagued by overcapacity rates will come under renewed pressure.
Drewry’s Global Freight Rate Index, a weighted average across all main trades excluding intra-Asia, rose for the second consecutive month in August to $2,159 per 40ft, a jump of 4.7% compared to the previous month. This brought the index back up to its highest level since April 2013.
Trades contributing to the index’s recovery included the eastbound transpacific, South Asian exports, imports from China into the Middle East, South America and Africa. Trades experiencing falling rates included both imports and exports in and out of the Oceania region, while elsewhere pricing remained stable.
Intra-Asia trades are not included in the Global Freight Rate Index, but here too freight rates recovered. Drewry’s Intra-Asia Freight Rate Index, a weighted average across all regional trades excluding South Asia and the Middle East, rose 2% in August to its highest level since February 2013.