The average spot rate for container shipping from Asia to Europe jumped 7.4 percent in the past week, part of a broad increase in pricing on east-west trade lanes that sent the SCFI Shanghai Containerized Freight Index to its first increase in more than four months.
The 0.4 percent uptick in the Shanghai Shipping Exchange’s overall SCFI came as ocean carriers sought to implement new price increases ahead of an early Chinese New Year that may push a short, sharp upsurge in demand.
The $37 increase in the Asia-Europe was the largest week-to-week percentage gain of the year in that rate-depressed lane and put the index at $536, the highest point since the week of Nov. 18. The rate index, which measures average spot rates ocean freight forwarders get from carriers out of Shanghai, was still 62 percent below the Asia-Europe measure at the end of 2010.
The measures to the U.S. West Coast, the U.S. East Coast and to Mediterranean ports all inched up less than 1 percent from the week before.