The heady days of steep transpacific ocean freight price rises are over. Prices dropped slightly this week as the 1 September General Rate Increases’ (GRIs) impact wore off.
Transpacific prices are likely to plateau or drop slightly through the rest of the month. The 15 September GRI was cancelled, and forwarder prices on the Freightos Marketplace prices were extended rather than raised.
Without a push from transpacific price rises, the global container index actually dipped last week, as a result of price dips on the China-North Europe (-11%) and the China-Mediterranean (-7%) lanes
This week’s report
|Week 37||Week 36||Last year*|
|China – US West Coast||$2,298||-2%||63%|
|China – US East Coast||$3,504||0%||58%|
|China – North Europe||$1,953||-11%||22%|
|North Europe – US East Coast||$1,635||18%||21%|
|* Compared to the corresponding week in 2017|
For the first time in seven weeks, transpacific prices dropped slightly this week (China-West Coast by $56 and China-East Coast by $10).
That contrasts dramatically with their trajectory over the past three months. During this period, China-West Coast prices increased by 90% and China-East Coast prices by 54%.
September is normally a good month for carriers to implement price rises, given the squeeze of importers getting Thanksgiving stock out before the Golden Week shutdown. This year, there is added anxiety, as importers wonder whether a third round of tariffs on Chinese imports will be announced.
Despite very tight space for China-US shipments, (with a 3-4 week backlog and some shipments being rolled and even double-rolled), carriers are clearly cautious with their demand forecasts once shipping returns to normal after Golden Week.
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/