Trans-Pacific eastbound spot rates dropped 3.9 percent in the week ending Feb. 27, which was its largest week over week drop so far in 2013. Spot eastbound trans-Pacific rates from Hong Kong to Los Angeles dropped to $2,436 per 40-foot container, down $100 from last week, according to the Wednesday release of the Drewry Hong Kong-Los Angeles Container Rate Benchmark.
Drewry’s Hong Kong - Los Angeles Container Rate Benchmark
Rate per 40-Foot Container and Week-to-Week Percent Change
The last time the benchmark saw a similar dip was in early February, when the rate fell 3.4 percent, before rising by 4.0 percent the following week. The current rate is $222 or 10.04 percent higher than it was at the beginning of 2013, when it stood at $2,213.
Asia-West Coast rates in general have been weakening. The week ending Feb. 22 saw the fourth straight weekly spot rate decline as tracked in the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index. During this four-week span, rates dropped 6.2 percent between Shanghai and the U.S. West Coast. These decreases followed an earlier, partially successful effort by carriers in mid-January to implement rate increases on the trans-Pacific eastbound trade lane. Carriers will try again to boost rates on April 1 when the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement plans to impose an increase of $400 per FEU to the U.S. West Coast.
The trans-Pacific market outlook will be presented in the opening panel at the 2013 TPM on March 3-6 in Long Beach.