Backhaul container rates were relatively stable this week and remained above year earlier levels, according to the latest sub-indices of the World Container Index, while the WCI's headhaul Shanghai-Rotterdam rate soared.
The Los Angeles-Shanghai WCI sub-index was unchanged at $856 per 40-foot container, the third consecutive week that sub-index was unchanged. Since early September the index has crept up from $846 per 40-foot container; it is 13 percent above where the index stood a year ago.
The Rotterdam-Shanghai sub-index stood at $1,019 per 40-foot container, the fourth consecutive week the index was unchanged. The index is 48 percent higher than it was a year ago.
The Rotterdam-New York rate was $2,642, unchanged from the previous week and 11.4 percent above level of a year ago. The New York-Rotterdam rate was $1,942, down slightly from $1,952 the previous week and 12.4 percent above the year-earlier level.
On the Asia-Europe headhaul trade, the WCI's Shanghai-Rotterdam freight rate increased this week by a robust 38 percent, to $2,865 per 40-foot container, indicating that the price increases announced by container shipping lines as of Nov. 1 "were largely accepted by the market."
“About three quarters of the planned $500 per TEU rate increases was implemented, based on our market assessments in China and Europe,” said Richard Heath, director of World Container Index. Martin Dixon, research manager freight rate benchmarking at Drewry, said: “We expect this rate increase to be partly reversed in the next few weeks. However, the rate increases will probably influence the annual contract negotiations for 2013, by setting a higher price platform of rates, when compared to the situation a year ago.”