Spot container rates from Asia to Europe measured by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index fell more than $100 per 20-foot-equivalent unit during the week ending Sept. 13. Rates have been decreasing for the past six weeks in these lanes, with the past two weeks showing decreases of roughly $100 per week.
“The phrase ‘shock and awe’ comes to mind when looking at the SCFI Asia-Europe results over the last two weeks, with both weeks seeing a very significant amount of value eroded and presently nothing to stop rates falling further in sight,” said Benjamin Gibson, freight derivatives broker at Clarksons Securities. “Entering the 'off-season' this has got to be an indicator of very bad news for fourth quarter earnings.”
The spot rate from Shanghai to northern European ports fell 10.0 percent or $107 from the week before to $966 per TEU. This was the first dip below the $1,000-per TEU mark in 12 weeks. During the past six weeks, rates have dropped 35.6 percent or $535 per TEU. The current SCFI index to northern Europe is 20.7 percent below where it was at the same point in 2012, and 23.9 percent lower than at the beginning of 2013.
The spot rate from Shanghai to Mediterranean ports dropped 9.8 percent or $109 from last week to $1,006 per TEU, its lowest rate since May 24, according to the latest SCFI data issued by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. Rates have fallen 32.6 percent or $487 per TEU during the current six-week slump. The SCFI index to the Mediterranean is now off 19.5 percent year-over-year and down 13.1 percent from Jan. 1.