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Chinese New Year drives up spot box rates from Shanghai

Shanghai: Spot container box rates from Shanghai on the mainline trades have skyrocketed ahead of Chinese New Year. Hong Kong-based research house Transport Trackers described the situation of getting cargo out of Shanghai as "hell" with cargo owners forced to pay whatever rate was being asked.

Transport Trackers quoted an example from a forwarder saying a customer baulking at $2,700 per feu from Shanghai to the US West Coast. The rate is roughly double that of a few months ago.

The spike in rates has resulted from a rush to get cargo out before Chinese New Year combining with capacity cuts by shipping lines in what is traditionally a slack period.

An industry source said spot rates from Shanghai to Europe were even higher. He said rates of upto $2,000 per teu were being quoted by lines for shipments from the Chinese port to Europe.

The current spike in rates is expected to last another two weeks with demand post Chinese New Year still unclear. [28-01-10]

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