The World Container Index's Shanghai-Rotterdam index hit $2,622 per feu on 4 July, a 165% increase. This pushes rates from a position where they struggled to cover basic operating costs to profitability.
"Over three quarters of the planned $1,000 per teu rate increases was implemented, based on our market assessments in China and Europe," said Richard Heath, director of the World Container Index.
Asia-Europe rates have suffered sustained volatility over the past two years, with price wars and overcapacity dropping revenues to unsustainable levels in the first half of this year. The long-term staying power of the latest round of rises remains open to question, but in the past where large increases have been achieved they usually held to a reasonable degree.