The 90-day truce on the latest China trade tariff increase caused transpacific pricing to fall through December. A new year, and new price increases – a combination of fuel-related surcharge increases and General Rate Increases (GRIs). Carriers are seeking to cash in on an uptick in demand caused by post-Christmas replenishment and the looming Chinese New Year shutdown. As a consequence, this week China to US West Coast prices jumped 16% (from $1,722 to $2,003) and China to US East Coast prices jumped 13% (from $2,779 to $3,137).
China to North Europe prices also jumped 13%, with more to come as other carriers have announced Freight All Kinds (FAK) increases for later in the month. Coming into contract renegotiation time at this time, carriers will be hoping that spot prices stay high.
Here’s the playbook. Transpacific ocean prices drop just before Christmas, and then pick up again early January as logistics managers start replenishing stock. Chinese New Year shutdown causes prices to spike again, but after that, they fall away until next peak season.
Well, President Trump tore up the playbook. Importers, fearing trade tariff increases, imported early, pushing prices up from early summer. They were already over-stocked before the latest trade tariff got a 90-day reprieve. If the tariffs go back on, prices will go up again.” – Philip von Mecklenburg-Blumenthal, VP of FBX, Freightos
This week’s report
|Week 01||Week 52||Last year*|
|China – US West Coast||$2,003||16%||37%|
|China – US East Coast||$3,137||13%||32%|
|China – North Europe||$1,598||13%||-2%|
|North Europe – US East Coast||$1,818||-0%||28%|
|* Compared to the corresponding week in 2017|
The 90-day truce on the latest China trade tariff increase had caused transpacific pricing to fall through December. That changed this week when a combination of GRI and fuel-related surcharge increases saw China to US West Coast prices increase 16% (from $1,722 to $2,003). Similarly China to US East Coast prices jumped 13% (from $2,779 to $3,137).
China to North Europe prices also jumped 13% and more carriers will increase their FAK rates during the month. Coming into contract renegotiation time at this time, carriers will be hoping that spot prices stay high. With these three indexes all up, the global index also jumped this week, by 10% to $1,552.
The Freightos Baltic Indices reflect weekly spot rates for 40-foot containers based on 12 to 18 million price points collected every week on 12 main shipping trade lanes. The data includes a headline index – the FBX Global Container Index (FBX) – a weighted average of the 12 underlying route indexes. This data is published every Sunday. See www.balticexchange.com/market-information/containers/