Average Asia-Europe spot prices edged up slightly this week in a sign that the hefty general rate increases implemented by carriers on March 15 are holding up.
The World Container Index assessed by Drewry in a joint venture with the Cleartrade Exchange increased by 0.2 percent over last week to $2,654 per 40-foot container after easing off for the last two weeks.
The resilience of the WCI following the March 15 rate increases indicates that carriers have removed enough capacity from the trade to ease the overcapacity that had depressed rates over the last year. The WCI this week is 28.8 percent higher than the same week last year, when it was hovering around $2,060 per 40-foot container.
The WCI is an index of average spot prices for shipping a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Rotterdam. The index shot up by 114 percent to $2,732 per FEU during the week of March 15 when all major carriers increased westbound rates by $700 to $800 per 20-foot container on the westbound leg.
Many carriers have announced a second GRI of $400 per 20-foot container on April 1, following Maersk Line's lead.