The Drewry benchmark rate for shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles fell $50 to $1,836 per 40-foot container in the week of April 2, its lowest level in the last 14 weeks.
The current Hong Kong-to-Los Angeles rate is down 26.6 percent or $664 year-over-year, and dropped 2.7 percent from the rate on Jan. 1 of this year. The rate hasn’t been this low since the week of Dec. 18, 2013, meaning it is the lowest rate so far this year.
Carriers in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement will attempt to lift rates again by $300 per 40-foot container, beginning April 15. Spot rates rapidly retreated to pre-GRI levels after rising around carriers’ mid-March general rate increase. Drewry said in this week’s release that it expects rates to remain under pressure in the run-up to the mid-April GRI.
In the week of March 28, the spot rate to the U.S. West Coast as indexed by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index was $1,824 per FEU, down 2.2 percent or $41 per 40-foot container from the prior week, giving up nearly 73 percent of the $147 gain achieved around the TSA’s GRI.
“With March and April being traditionally busy months ahead of the summer peak season, the failure to increase rates at this time does not bode well in the run-up to summer,” according to a recent Alphaliner newsletter.