Spot container freight rates on the major East-West routes reached a 20-month high this week and have risen above the average of the last 5 years, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.
The latest weekly reading is USD 1,770/40ft container for the composite index, reflecting increases on individual lanes to USD 1,785 for the Rotterdam-New York index, up USD 4 this week, USD 2,210 for the Shanghai-Rotterdam index, representing a rise of USD 257, while the Shanghai-Los Angeles index was at USD 2,106, surging by USD 545.
On the back of January 1 general rate increase (GRIs), the World Container Index between Shanghai and Rotterdam rose by 13% to reach USD 2,210 this week. Drewry expects the volume upsurge on account of an early Chinese New Year to support further increases next week.
The last time the WCI composite index exceeded USD 1,700 per 40ft container was in March 2015, before the 2015/16 price war, Drewry said.
The World Container Index assessed by Drewry composite index, an average of spot rates on 11 transpacific, Asia-Europe and transatlantic routes, has now increased by 62% since the bankruptcy of Hanjin at the end of August 2016.
“With 2017 contract rates at risk of double-digit increases, now is the time to use the latest e-sourcing tools and strategies to help mitigate cost increases and to avoid a repeat of carrier service failures,” Philip Damas, head of the logistics practice of Drewry, said.