Spot container rates from Asia to the U.S. East and West Coasts, as measured by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, increased for a third straight week in the week ending Jan. 17. Consecutive increases have not extended past two weeks since 2012.
The second round of the two-stage rate general rate increase proposed by the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement took effect on Jan. 15 in Asia-U.S. lanes. Carriers including MOL, Evergreen, Cosco Container Lines and U.S. Lines adopted the proposed increase of $300 per FEU in the Asia-to-U.S. trade lanes.
The spot rate from Shanghai to the U.S. West Coast jumped 13.1 percent, or $245 from last week to $2,111 per FEU, according to SCFI data issued by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. This is the highest rate in this lane since early July 2013. During the past three weeks, the rate has increased $308 per FEU. Despite being two weeks ahead of an early Chinese New Year, the spot rate in the week ending Jan. 17 is still 16.2 percent below the level in the same week last year, when the rate stood at $2,520.
The spot rate to the U.S. East Coast climbed 6.6 percent, or $213 per FEU, to $3,430 in the week ending Jan. 17. This is the highest rate level since the week of Aug. 16, 2013. The rate is up $323 over the past three weeks. Despite the increase, the current rate remains down 6.5 percent year-over-year, from $3,670 one year ago.
Drewry’s benchmark rate for shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles climbed $200 in the week of Jan. 15, after remaining unchanged for three weeks. It rose to $2,086.