Spot container rates to the U.S. East and West coasts measured by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index declined in the week ending July 26, ahead of a planned Aug. 1 general rate increase.
“The U.S. routes have shown a weaker development when compared to the European trades. We cannot yet categorically determine the outcome of the planned GRI put forward by the TSA. However, with no increase being reflected this week, the signals at present remain fairly bearish,” said Richard Ward, research analyst for container derivatives at ICAP.
The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a discussion group of 15 ocean carriers in the Asia-to-U.S. containerized trade, announced an Aug. 1 peak-season surcharge of $400 per 40-foot container. USL, which operates in the trans-Pacific but isn't part of the TSA, announced plans for a similar increase.
The spot rate from Shanghai to the U.S. West Coast dropped 2 percent, or $37, from the previous week to $1,942 per FEU, according to SCFI data issued by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange on Friday. The West Coast has managed to hold on to 24 percent of the July 1 $400 per FEU GRI. The current spot rate is 18 percent below the level in the same week last year. It was the 16th straight week in which the rate was down year-over-year, and is 12.6 percent, or $279, less than the level at the beginning of 2013.
The spot rate to the U.S. East Coast edged down 0.6 percent, or $20 per FEU, to $3,273, in the latest week. The East Coast has kept 48 percent of a July 1 proposed $600 GRI. The current rate is down 6.8 percent from the same week in 2012 and 2.5 percent, or $85, less than it was at the beginning of 2013.