Spot container rates to the U.S. East and West coasts measured by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index declined in the week ending Aug. 9, following a rate increase. The gains achieved last week were low in comparison to carrier goals, and those gains eroded further this week.
USL and Hapag-Lloyd had set an Aug. 1 peak-season surcharge of $400 per 40-foot container to the U.S West Coast and $600 to the East Coast, originally proposed by the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement.
The spot rate from Shanghai to the U.S. West Coast dropped 3.6 percent, or $75, from the previous week to $1,994 per FEU, according to SCFI data issued by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange on Friday. The achievement level fell from 32.0 percent of the proposed $400 GRI in the week ending Aug. 2 to only 13.0 percent achievement in the week ending Aug. 9. The West Coast had previously managed to hold on to 24.0 percent of the July 1 GRI. The current spot rate is 28.3 percent below the level in the same week last year and is 10.2 percent, or $227, less than the level at the beginning of 2013.
The spot rate to the U.S. East Coast slipped nearly 2 percent, or $67 per FEU, to $3,446, in the latest week. The current rate is down 15.9 percent from the same week in 2012, but up 2.6 percent, or $88, from Jan. 1.
The next round of rate increases has been announced for Sept. 1. So far, Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk proposed increases similar to those set in August — $400 per FEU to the U.S. West Coast and $600 per FEU to the East Coast.