The Drewry Container Rate Benchmark for trans-Pacific shipping fell 5.7 percent in the week ended Nov. 22 to the lowest point since April as the peak season winds down and non-vessel-owning common carriers scramble to fill contracted vessel space.
The measure of spot rates from Hong Kong to Los Angeles slipped to $1,961 per 40-foot-equivalent container unit, down from $2,079 the week before and the first time the benchmark rate has fallen below $2,000 since April 26.
The Drewry benchmark rate has been flat or declining for 15 weeks since it hit a high of $2,838 per FEU on Aug. 1, when many ocean carriers started assessing a peak season surcharge.
The benchmark rate n the most recent week was still 52.1 percent higher than the $1,289 per FEU benchmark in the same week last year, however.
The Drewry benchmark rate does not reflect the contract rate that carriers negotiate with shippers under confidential annual contracts. The contract rates are typically several hundred dollars per FEU higher than spot rates and are fixed for an entire shipping year.
--Contact Peter T. Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org.