WCI: Eastbound trans-Atlantic rates hit record low

WCI: Eastbound trans-Atlantic rates hit record low

The spot rate from Shanghai to Rotterdam fell 5.5 percent week-over-week to $2,630 in the week ending July 17.

Spot rates from Shanghai to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, eroded this week, losing 35 percent of the gains it garnered in the last two weeks, and trans-Atlantic rates saw no gains.

The spot rate from Shanghai to Rotterdam, measured on the World Container Index, sat at $2,630 per FEU in the week ending July 17. The rate is down 5.5 percent from the previous week. June’s WCI spot rate from Shanghai to Rotterdam showed four straight weeks of 100 percent-plus gains year-over-year, but even those extreme price increases didn’t help the rate’s bottom line: spot rates on the Asia-to-Europe voyage are down 6.5 percent, or $195 per 40-foot container, as compared to the same year-to-date period in 2013.

“Drewry expects pricing on the [Asia-to-Europe] trade to weaken further before rising briefly on the back of the [Aug. 1 general rate increases] of $500-$750 per TEU, requested by a few carriers,” Drewry said.

The spot rate from New York to Rotterdam sat at $1,307 this week, down 19.7 percent year-over-year.

The spot rate from Rotterdam to New York did not move with this week’s WCI reading, sticking at $2,123 per FEU for the third straight week. The price per 40-foot container is 7.8 percent higher year-over-year and has stayed above $2,000 per FEU since late January.

Westbound rates from Rotterdam to New York are up 6.1 percent year-to-date, and have shown seven straight weeks of year-over-year gains. The lane has shown some volatility: There were 53 straight weeks of double-digit year-over-year declines, which became smaller and more infrequent this April. Only three of the last 11 weeks since May have shown year-over-year declines.

Eastbound pricing for New York-to-Rotterdam spot rates fell $41 per FEU this week, down a total of $61 per container in the past two weeks. The current rate, $1,307 per FEU, is the lowest rate since the WCI began reporting this data in June 2011. The spot rate is down 4.1 percent year-to-date over 2013, and is 19.7 percent lower than the same week in 2013.

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