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Spot container freight rates hit all time lows

Spot container freight rates hit all time lows

Spot container freight rates on the main East – West trades have hit their lowest levels in five years according to Drewry’s World Container Index (WCI).

The WCI that tracks rates on the Asia – Europe, transatlantic and transpacific trades slumped to $701 per feu on Thursday, the lowest level since the index started in June 2011.

“The World Container Index’s composite index is now 60% lower than the average of the past 5 years and has decreased by 62% in the past year,” said Richard Heath, director of WCI. 

WCI said the assessments for the Shanghai-Rotterdam and the Shanghai-Genoa routes fell to all-time lows of $354 and $341 per feu.

The Shanghai Contaierised Freight Index (SCFI) has also registered its lowest level ever on the Asia – Europe trade with it reporting rate of $231 per teu between Asia and North Europe, and $236 per between Asia and the Mediterranean at the end of last week.

On the transpacific WCI said rates remained slightly above all time lows at $878 per feu on the Shanghai – Los Angeles route.

Due to overcapacity on the Asia – Europe trade CMA CGM is shifting six 18,000 teu vessels to the transpacific trade, the first time such ultra-large vessels have been deployed into the US West Coast.

Drewry director Phililp Damas commented: “Rate reductions are spreading across all routes, as the shipping market continues to soften. This is good news for shippers’ cost budgets, as the latest average index value of $701 per 40ft represents an expense of less than 10 cents per km and makes products competitive even in remote markets.”

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