Average spot rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific trade lane fell 2.9 percent this week, dropping for the second week in a row since carriers put a peak-season surcharge into effect on June 10.
The Drewry benchmark rate for shipping a 40-foot container from Hong Kong to Los Angeles fell to $2,445, a decline of $74 per FEU from $2,519 per FEU last week.
This week’s benchmark is down 9.4 percent, or $255, from the level of $2,700 per FEU that prevailed for the first three weeks after the implementation of the June 10 peak-season surcharge.
The decline could be due to the drop in bunker fuel surcharges, which are rolled into the spot prices and to additional vessel capacity that carriers have added for the peak season.
The Drewry benchmark rate includes all surcharges, such as that for bunker fuel, except for terminal-handling charges at the port of origin.
Carriers have been able to hold on to most of the four general rate increases implemented this year in the eastbound trans-Pacific trade. Most recently, the carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement implemented a $600-per-FEU peak-season surcharge on June 10.
Even after this week’s decline, the four general rate increases and the peak-season surcharge have lifted the Drewry benchmark rate by 70.3 percent from the $1,436-per-FEU average in the last week of 2011.
This week’s benchmark rate is 49.5 percent higher than the same week a year ago, when it averaged $1,636 per FEU.