Peak season shipping is in full swing, as evident by China-US shipments operating on a 3-4 week backlog since mid-July.
Peak season is impacting freight prices too. Back in the last week of June, at $1,210/FEU, China-West Coast prices were just one dollar less than the previous year. But they’ve risen 73% since then and are now 34% up on last year’s prices.
This week’s report
|Week 34||Week 33||Last year*|
|China – US West Coast||$2,097||1%||34%|
|China – US East Coast||$3,319||2%||35%|
|China – North Europe||$2,030||5%||17%|
|North Europe – US East Coast||$1,460||3%||4%|
|* Compared to the corresponding week in 2017|
The top five indexes are all up on last week and also all up on last year, a sure sign that peak season is now in full swing.
China-West Coast rates are 34% higher (China-East Coast 35% higher) than at the same time last year.
With recent GRIs sticking, it’s no surprise that, on top of the September 1 increase, some carriers have announced a GRI for a September 15 GRI as well – making it the 17th so far this year.
As well as improved carrier discipline, other factors are at play, like advance ordering to beat the new tariffs on China imports. This issue may be masking an underlying rise in demand, and in itself will have a limited impact on pricing.
Recent typhoons in East Asia have caused disruptions, especially rollings caused by ships skipping a scheduled docking. Hurricane Lane also briefly impacted cargo in and out of Hawaii this past Saturday.
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/