Average spot rates in the Asia-Europe trades eased on May 10 after their 19 percent jump last week following carriers’ general rate increase on May 1.
The World Container Index of spot prices in the trade from Shanghai to Rotterdam, which is compiled by Drewry and the Cleartrade Exchange in Singapore, fell 4.4 percent to $3,708 per 40-foot equivalent unit from $3,878 per FEU on May 3.
Carriers in the key Asia-Europe head-haul trade had announced GRIs of about $400 per TEU (or $800 per FEU) as of May 1.
Carriers have been able to hold on to most of the four large GRIs they put into effect since the beginning of the year, because they have kept vessel capacity relatively tight. However, now spot rates may begin to ease as idle capacity returns to the trade and newly delivered ships are deployed.
Alphaliner said Wednesday that rates in the Asia-Europe trade appear to have peaked after a nearly fourfold increase since December.
Deliveries of new ships in the first four months of the year, together with the return of idle capacity, have added 280,000 TEUs of capacity to the trade.