Spot rates for container shipments from Hong Kong to Los Angeles fell to their lowest level in the last 22 months, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants’ weekly benchmark.
Drewry’s index dipped to $1,478 per 40-foot equivalent unit this week from its $1,486 per 40-foot equivalent container unit level of the last two weeks. The latest reading was the lowest since the Jan. 11, 2010, when the index stood at $1,416 per FEU.
The slide in trans-Pacific spot rates mirrors the even-steeper plunge in rates on the Asia-Europe trade lane, where the index of spot rates fell to $947.50 in the week ending Oct. 14, according to the latest weekly SCFI, or Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, which was down nearly 19.3 percent since the end of August.
Since late August, the Drewry trans-Pacific benchmark has plummeted 20.4 percent. It is 30.2 percent below this year’s $2,119 peak in early January and 35.4 percent below its level of a year ago. Both the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe lanes have been hit hard by a glut of vessel capacity and a dearth of demand in the U.S. and North Europe.
The Drewry container benchmark gauges rates paid by shippers to non-vessel-operating common carriers, excluding terminal handling charges in Hong Kong.