Spot container rates from Asia to European ports measured by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index eroded for a ninth straight week during the week ending Oct. 11. This was the second straight week of double-digit declines.
The spot rate from Shanghai to Mediterranean ports tumbled 13.3 percent from last week, after falling 11.3 percent in the week before, to $726 per 20-foot-equivalent unit, according to the latest SCFI data issued by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. Rates to the Mediterranean hit a 42-week low. During the past nine weeks of declines in this lane, rates have plummeted 51.4 percent or $767 per TEU. The SCFI to the Mediterranean is now off 35.8 percent year-over-year and down 37.3 percent from Jan. 1.
The spot rate from Shanghai to northern European ports fell 11.8 percent or $90 from the week before to $675 per TEU. Rates to northern Europe are down 55.0 percent or $826 per TEU during their nine-week slide. This week’s SCFI to northern Europe is 39.4 percent below where it was at the same point in 2012, and 46.9 percent lower than at the beginning of 2013.
“The carriers are planning for another big general rate increase to be implemented for Asia-Europe on November 1st,” said Jefferies shipping analyst Johnson Leung. “Our channel checks do not suggest much volume pick up in November, so the key to success will again depend on capacity withdrawal. However, liners are only willing to void some sailings this year instead of the outright closing down some services.”
Several carriers have announced GRIs for Nov. 1 on the Asia-Europe lanes. OOCL, Hapag Lloyd, UASC, Zim, Evergreen, CMA CGM, and ANL have all proposed increases of between $925 and $1,000 per TEU, while Maersk set a minimum increase of $600 per TEU.