An index of spot freight rates for Asia-to-Europe container shipments inched up 0.1 percent this week, showing new strength in ocean carrier attempts to shore up pricing on the troubled trade lane.
The slight gain in the World Container Index of spot prices for shipments from Shanghai to Rotterdam followed two straight weeks of decline over the Chinese New Year holiday period.
The increase was just $1 to $1,280 per 40-foot equivalent unit, but it follows declines totaling 10.5 percent the previous two weeks.
It also comes as carriers have shown new resolve to pump up Asia-Europe prices with a series of rate increases ranging from $300 to $800 per 20-foot-equivalent unit effective March 1. Those hikes would effectively double the charges from the most recent spot levels.
The WCI, which is compiled by a joint venture between Drewry Shipping Consultants and the Cleartrade Exchange, is about 50 percent lower this week than it was in the same week last year.