Transpacific prices are still buoyant, but there are indications that prices will level off rather than continue their recent spectacular trajectory (China-West Coast up 290%, China-East Coast up 193% from six months ago).
This week’s report
|Week 36||Week 35||Last year*|
|China – US West Coast||$2,354||10%||58%|
|China – US East Coast||$3,514||5%||52%|
|China – North Europe||$2,201||6%||34%|
|North Europe – US East Coast||$1,380||-5%||-4%|
|* Compared to the corresponding week in 2017|
Ocean freight prices at a high. At $2,354 China-West Coast rates are 58% on this time last year (with China-East Coast prices 52% up). In fact, at $1,735/FEU the Global Container Index is at its highest point since its beginning (July 5, 2017).
As we’ve seen in the past Septembers, importers are caught in a squeeze stocking up for Thanksgiving in advance of the Golden Week shutdown. Space is currently very tight for China-US shipments, operating on a 3-4 week backlog and some shipments are getting rolled.
Furthermore, demand is still being driven by tariffs on US imports. Many importers will be anxious to get orders in and shipments out before a potentially imminent third round of tariffs on Chinese imports takes effect.
General Rate Increases (GRIs) have been announced for 1 October 1 and 15 October, and more Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) increases are in the pipeline, so, for carriers, the outlook for prices should be good.
However, looking forward, carriers are concerned about demand levels after Golden Week. There are already indicators that the planned 15 September GRI will not have the same impact on prices as its recent predecessors.
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 is audited by the Baltic Exchange and includes the 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/