Average container freight rates from Asia to Northern Europe dropped to $1,359 per 20-foot container and $2,352 per 40-foot container as of May 24, extending a slide that started in March, according to Xeneta, an ocean freight price comparison service.
Rates have now falled more than 50 percent from May 2012, driven by overcapacity and "various economic turmoil, Xeneta said. that the market index for 40-foot containers has plummeted 52 percent compared with May 2012, driven by overcapacity and “various economic turmoil.”
Xeneta, which publishes a pricing index for some 1,700 port pairs, said its maritime pricing index has shown a consistent downward slope since carriers imposed general rate increases in March and April. The decline has been broad-based, covering major trade lanes from Asia to Europe and North America.
The declines track the trends seen in the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index and Drewry Container Rate Benchmark. Unlike those products, which rely on surveys with non-vessel-operating common carriers, Xeneta uses data provided by all transportation users, including beneficial cargo owners, to develop its average pricing.
“Even though the market is dropping, there are still freight buyers that cannot keep up with the rapid fluctuations in the market, resulting in them overpaying on their routes,” Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund, who co-founded the Oslo, Norway-based company last year, said in a written statement.