Spot rates from Shanghai to the U.S. West and East Coasts gained in the latest week according to the Friday release of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, but still fell well short of carriers’ planned Jan. 15 rate increases.
Carriers in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement had announced a $600 per 40-foot container, or FEU, increase to the West Coast and $800 to other destinations including the East Coast. The increases achieved over the past two weeks were $299 per FEU to the West Coast, or almost exactly half the increase sought, and $312 to the East Coast, less than half the hoped for increase.
The trans-Pacific increases “can be seen as only partially successful, which will be disappointing from a carriers perspective given how quickly we have seen previous GRI’s eroded,” ICAP said in its weekly analysis.
West Coast rates were up $179 per FEU to $2,520 after being up $120 per FEU to $2,341 the week before. East Coast rates were up $145 to $3,670 per FEU, after being up $167 to $3,525 the prior week.
The Shanghai-to-Europe trades fared worse this week. After a GRI the week before that yielded gains in the North Europe and Med rates, the market backtracked this week. Rates to the Med slipped $45 per 20-foot container or TEU to $1,311 after surging 17 percent the prior week to $1,356 per TEU. Rates to the North Europe port range fell $69 per TEU to $1,349 after being up 11.7 percent the week befre to $1,418.
The retreat in the European trades, ICAP said, “can be seen as very bearish given that we usually see an increase in cargo just prior to the Chinese New Year. It is evident from this week’s declines that either this increase in cargo has not been realized, or yet again we are seeing carrier’s undercut one another after only one week. In reality it is probably a combination of both.”