Trans-Pacific spot rates ticked upward late this week in advance of a planned $600 per 40-foot container rate increase to West Coast ports (and $800 to other destinations) set to take effect on Jan. 15.
The West Coast spot rate as published on Friday by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index was $2,341 per FEU, up $120 or 5.4 percent from last week. Analysts said the rate is likely to climb further next week after the increase takes effect early next week, though the success of the GRI isn’t yet clear. Given that the increase falls short of the carriers’ Jan. 15 GRI goal, “there should be a more substantial uptick to be reflected in the Index next week,”Clarksons said in a commentary. Shanghai to U.S. East Coast rates climbed similarly, up $167 per FEU or 5 percent to $3,525.
In the European trades, Shanghai-North Europe rates rose by $148 per 20-foot container or TEU, rising 12 percent to $1,418 per TEU, this in advance of a planned mid-month $350 per TEU GRI. In the Mediterranean trades rates shot up $198 per TEU or 17 percent to $1,356 per TEU. “Next week’s index publication will provide a clearer insight into whether this momentum (in the European trades) can be maintained or increased in the run up to the Chinese New Year,” ICAP said in a commentary.
“The U.S. trades remain slightly less clear,” ICAP said. “With the TSA’s recommended increase of $650 not due until the 15th of January, the increases seen this week are not representative of how successful the GRI has been, as it is yet to be fully introduced. All eyes again will be on next Friday’s index to determine the real success of this latest GRI. Will the full $650 be implemented?"