SCFI: Trans-Pacific Rates Inch Up After Five-Week Slump

SCFI: Trans-Pacific Rates Inch Up After Five-Week Slump

Shanghai Containerized Freight Index spot rates for U.S.-bound trade lanes slightly increased in the week of May 17, following five weeks of declines.

“The US trades unexpectedly jumped this week albeit very minimally. Unfortunately for carriers despite this, signals still remain bearish, especially with the recent reports from the National Retail Federation suggesting cargo demand will be at a standstill by September,” said Richard Ward, research analyst for container derivatives of ICAP PLC.

Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, U.S. West Coast, week of May 17, 2013Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, U.S. West Coast, week of May 17, 2013

The spot rate to the U.S. West Coast increased 0.8 percent or $15 to $2,012 per 40-foot container this week, after reaching its lowest rate in over a year last week. During the prior five weeks, rates fell 13.2 percent or $305 in total. The current spot rate is down 13.6 percent year-over-year and is 9.4 percent or $209 below the level seen at the beginning of 2013.

The spot rate to the U.S. East Coast edged up 0.5 percent or $17 per FEU from last week to $3,169, according to the latest SCFI data, issued by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. During the prior five weeks, rates dropped a total of 8.7 percent or $302. The current index level is down 9.2 percent from the same week in 2012 and down 5.6 percent or $189 since the beginning of 2013.

“Spot rates from China started to diverge today as the transpacific market stabilised ahead of announced GRIs next week,” said Benjamin Gibson, freight derivatives broker at Clarksons Securities. On May 21, USL and CMA CGM are set to increase their rates on Asia to U.S. West Coast services by $400 per FEU and on Asia to U.S. East Coast services by $600 per FEU.