Spot container rates to the U.S. East and West Coasts measured by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index saw increases, albeit slight, for a second consecutive week in the week ending Sept. 6. Gains during these weeks are a result of rate increases scheduled for Sept. 1 by members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement for $400 per 40-foot container to the West Coast and $600 to the East Coast.
“It is unlikely these increases will be large enough to offset any declines seen in the next few weeks,” said Richard Ward, research analyst for container derivatives at ICAP.
The spot rate from Shanghai to the U.S. West Coast rose 1.2 percent, or $24, from the previous week to $1,989 per FEU, according to SCFI data issued by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. Combined with last week’s increase, rates to the West Coast are up $100, representing just 25 percent of the proposed $400 increase. The current spot rate is 20.1 percent below the level in the same week last year and is 10.4 percent less than at the beginning of 2013.
The spot rate to the U.S. East Coast inched up 0.5 percent, or $17 per FEU, to $3,395, in the week ending Sept. 6. The rate has increased $34 during the past two weeks, only amounting to 5 percent of the proposed $600 increase. The current rate is down 8.7 percent from the same week in 2012, but remains up 1.1 percent from Jan. 1.
Cosco has already announced a general rate increase of $400 per FEU on USA-bound lanes for October 15.