Singapore port
© Anekoho

Capacity issues at European ports may have boosted spot rates for Europe-Asia sailings but reports of congestion in Shanghai have done little for Asia-Europe sailings.

Shanghai-Rotterdam rates remained virtually flat this week – after a 7% slip last week – at $1,546 per 40ft, but Shanghai-Genoa saw a 3% dip to $1,462, according to Drewry’s World Container Index (WCI).

The decline was more marked on Freightos’ International Freight Index – which reports at the start of each week – citing China-Europe rates as low as $1,423 per 40ft.

Responding to the lull, Ocean Alliance member OOCL announced the suspension of its East Mediterranean and Black Sea (EM1) service, westbound from Pusan on 7 May and eastbound departing Izmit on 9 June.

While some carriers may lament the weakening performances, they’d be well advised to check the corresponding week last year, when rates were 225% lower, hitting a nadir of $271 per teu.

Transpacific trades were little better last week. The WCI recorded a 4% drop on both Asia-US east coast ($2,367 per 40ft) and Asia-US west coast ($1,358) sailings.

Again, Freightos results were a little more severe, with China-US sailings indicating a 6.6% decline week-on-week to around $1,365.

However, the capacity crunch for European exporters continues to push up rates on Europe-Asia sailings – by 10% this week, according to WCI’s Rotterdam-Shanghai leg, to $1,723 per 40ft.

The surge has led Maersk Line to announce a FAK increase for reefer shipments. From 1 May, the carrier will increase reefer rates from Bremerhaven and Rotterdam to China and Japan’s main ports by 25%, with Bremerhaven to Japan rates quoted at $3,950 per 40ft.

CMA CGM has also issued a slew of FAK increases, with rates for Asia-Europe sailings from 1 May of $2,000 and $2,050 for reefer containers. And from 17 May, the carrier will introduce a peak season surcharge of $200 for standard and reefer container sailings from Northern Europe to the US west coast.

Meanwhile, Yang Ming has expanded its service offering with a new Asia Australia Alliance Service, connecting South-east Asia with Australia. Commencing on Monday, the service will run: Laem Chabang-Singapore-Port Klang-Fremantle-Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide-Fremantle-Singapore-Laem Chabang.

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