SCFI: Spot rates drop across the board despite GRI effort

SCFI: Spot rates drop across the board despite GRI effort

All major trade lanes saw a dip in spot rates for the week ahead, according to the latest reading of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, as carriers’ September’s general rate pushes failed to hold.

SCFI spot rates from Asia to northern Europe dropped by 6.6 percent this week, down $74 to $1,055 per 20-foot container. The spot rate is still 9.2 percent higher than the same week of 2013, and is clinging above the $1,000-per-TEU mark. Spot rates to northern European ports haven't dropped below $1,000 per container since late March.

Spot rates to northern Europe are down 40.2 percent year-to-date, or $710 per container compared to the same time period in 2013. 

Spot rates to the Mediterranean from Asia were also down on the SCFI. The $1,357-per-TEU spot rate was 8.7 percent, or $130 per TEU, lower than last week's rate. However, year-over-year comparisons show spot rates to the Mediterranean are still performing strong. This week's rate was 34.9 percent higher than the same week in 2013.  

Year-to-date, the rate is down 24.2 percent or $434 per TEU.

Though rates in the United States have shown some stability as of late driven by peak season volumes and tight capacity, spot rates to the U.S. East and West coasts both fell this week. Rates to the U.S. West Coast were down 4.7 percent from last week to $2,195 per 40-foot container, $109 per FEU lower than on Sept. 5.

Trans-Pacific Stabilization Agreement members were striving for a Sept. 1 general rate increase of $600 per FEU, but rates only rose by $260 per FEU on the lane before this week's tumble. Rates have been higher than 2013 readings for the past seven weeks. This week's spot rate is 14.6 percent higher than the same week of 2013. Year to date, the spot rate from Asia to the U.S. West Coast is up $380 per FEU or 20.9 percent.

Spot rates to the East Coast have held steady consistently through the past six weeks, but lost some ground this week after gaining $292 per FEU on the back of the Sept. 1 GRI. This week's spot rate registered at $4,524 per FEU, 2.4 percent lower than the previous week. But the rates to the East Coast, driven by peak season volume and diversion traffic from the West Coast due to ongoing labor negotiations, are 36 percent higher than the same week of 2013.

Year-to-date, spot rates to the U.S. East Coast have risen 44.2 percent or $1,387 per FEU.

Contact Corianne Egan at cegan@joc.com and follow her on Twitter: @CEgan_JOC.