Asia-N. Europe Boxship Rates Take a Tumble

The freight rates for shipping containerized cargo from Asia to Northern Europe fell 23.5 pct last week reaching USD 658 per TEU on Friday, according to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index.

This is a 45% drop when compared to the same period in 2014 cancelling out the general rate increases pushed through by carriers.

Following 14 weeks of falling Asia to North Europe spot market freight rates, rates on that route surged by 153% last week. The World Container Index benchmark for Shanghai to Rotterdam went from a data series low of USD 670 per 40ft container to USD 1,698/40ft, Drewry’s data shows. However, the sudden upturn was scaled down by the week’s end.

Drewry believes that the volatility in freight rates stems from the weak demand in Asia to North Europe trade, which is compounded by the large number of containerships that are due to be deployed in the Asia-Europe routes.

“From May until the end of 2015 there is 630,000 teu worth of capacity from new ships of 10,000 teu and above scheduled for delivery, with similar levels slated for 2016 and 2017. The orderbook for 2018 and 2019 is already filling up and the data in the chart does not include reportedly imminent big new orders from Maersk Line and China Cosco,” the shipping consultant said.

Data from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index shows that rates for Asia-Mediterranean trade fell by 22.6 per cent to USD 776 per TEU from week to week. The spot rates to ports on the US West Coast and US East Caost dropped by 7.8 and  2.9 percent respectively.

World Maritime News Staff

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