The average spot rate for shipping a container from China to the U.S. West Coast fell 11 percent in the past week amid slumping U.S. consumer sentiment and the rising oversupply of vessel capacity, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants.
The Drewry Container Rate Benchmark fell to $1,636 per 40-foot container equivalent unit in the week ended Sept. 5, down by $221 per FEU from the prior week. The benchmark rate was 36.7 percent lower than the $2,655 per FEU in same week a year earlier.
By the Numbers: Container Rate Benchmark
Drewry bases its eastbound benchmark rate on an average of spot rates it collects from non-vessel-operating common carriers in Hong Kong each week. It excludes terminal-handling charges at the port of origin.
Eastbound spot freight rates only apply to about 10 percent of trans-Pacific container volume, since most cargo is priced at a rate set under the annual contracts.