The Drewry benchmark rate for shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles remained flat at $1,886 per 40-foot container in the week of March 12. In seven of the past 10 weeks, rates have remained unchanged week-to-week.
“The development in volatility is quite subdued for the trans-Pacific trade. Granted, we do see a decline until mid-2011 followed by a peak and a slight decline, however we do not see the almost exponential increase, which was evident for Asia-Europe,” SeaIntel said in this week’s Sunday Spotlight report. “The actual level of the volatility is quite low. Even with the changes over time, the actual volatility fluctuates between 2 to 6 percent, far below the 32 percent we saw for Asia to North Europe.”
The current Hong Kong to Los Angeles rate is down 16.6 percent year-over-year, and is level with the rate on Jan. 1 of this year. Carriers in the TSA hope to increase Asia-U.S. rates by $300 per FEU, effective March 15, and are looking for a further May 1 increase separate from rate adjustments planned for 2014-15 contracts.
Drewry said in this week’s release that it expects a slight recovery in pricing but the sustainability of the gains is questionable given the excess capacity on the trans-Pacific trade.
In the week of March 7, the spot rate as indexed by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index to the U.S. West Coast was $1,784 per FEU, down 3.7 percent or $68 from the prior week.