Average spot prices in the Asia-Europe trade slid this week for the third consecutive week following the huge March 1 general rate increase implemented by carriers in the trade.
The World Container Index of spot prices assessed by Drewry in the lane between Shanghai and Rotterdam declined 1.4 percent this week from last week to $2,648 per 40-foot equivalent unit.
Carriers have struggled to raise rates in the trade, where rates plunged for much of the last year because of a rate war. The WCI this week is 28.5 percent higher than the level in the same week last year when it was $2,060 per FEU.
The WCI soared upward by 114 percent in the week of March 1 as most carriers implemented a GRI of $700 to $800 per 20-foot container on the westbound leg, but it has eased off slightly in the weeks since then.
Many of the carriers have followed market leader Maersk Line’s decision to apply a second increase of $400 per TEU on April 1.