Spot freight rates in the Asia-Europe trade jumped 28 percent this week as the general rate increases imposed by carriers on April 1 took hold, only a month after the previous large GRI on March 1.
The spot rate on the lane from Shanghai to Rotterdam increased to $3,408 per 40-foot container on April 5 from $2,654 on March 29, according to the World Container Index, a joint venture between Drewry and the Cleartrade Exchange.
Carriers in the Asia-Europe head-haul trade had announced general rate increases of about $400 per 20-foot equivalent unit or $800 per 40-foot container on April 1. The index shows carriers were able to enforce the vast majority of the requested price increases.
At least one carrier, APL, announced a third GRI, effective May 1.
“This week’s rate increase results not only from the reduction in Asia-Europe operated capacities, but also from the new carrier behavior of announcing and sticking to large rate increases,” said Philip Damas, director of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.
“Looking ahead, we must question how sustainable these high Asia-to-Europe freight rates are, given the latent capacity currently parked by carriers and tramp owners, and given the expectation of deliveries of large new ships from the shipyards,” Damas said.