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Asia-Europe box rates slide 23.5% in a week

Asia-Europe box rates slide 23.5% in a week
Freight rates on the Asia-Europe trade fell $203 per teu to $658 per teu last week, according to the latest Shanghai Containerised Freight Index figures.

The fall was matched by a 22.6% drop in the Asia-Mediterranean freight rate to $776 per teu. Of the 15 reference areas taken into account in the index, only Australia/NewZealand, South Africa and East Japan bucked the trend of falling rates. Asia - Europe is the largest trade in global container shipping.

Overall the index fell by 8.7% to 757.66 during the week, to a level around half of that achieved at the same point last year.

The first quarter results of Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk Line and Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) each reported falling year-on-year rates, a trend that Maersk Line is expecting to continue, as ceo Soren Skou said in late-2104: "We cannot build a business on the hope that prices will go up. There is absolutely no historic basis for such a hope."