Headhaul rates fall to their lowest since August 2020 – rates decline across all three trade lanes – weakened freight demand and increasing capacity continue to put downward pressure on rates. 


Ti’s Global Ocean Freight Rate Index shows that rates continue to spiral downwards amidst volume weakness across all trade lanes. Rates have fallen considerably in Q4 2022, normalising from their 2021 highs, as the balance of supply and demand in container shipping tilts back in favour of shippers.

On the headhaul, rates have fallen to their lowest levels since August 2020 down to 166 points in January 2023. This represents a 34.3% fall vs October 2022 and a 77.7% fall year-on-year. Rates look set to settle above their pre-pandemic level: January 2023 headhaul rates are still 114.4% higher than January 2019 levels. This shows how much room there is for further falls.

The backhaul index reached 137 points, down 25.7% vs October 2022 and down 18.1% year- on-year. Prices on the backhaul are still 67.9% higher than January 2019 levels.

Rate declines can be seen across all three trade lanes, however, apart from the Transpacific trade lane where rates dropped below pre-pandemic level, rates on both the Transatlantic and the Asia Pacific-Europe trade lane settled above their pre-pandemic level…

Download NOW the Q1 23 edition of Ti’s ‘Ocean Freight Rate Tracker’ for all the latest data and analysis for sea freight rate development, capacity, congestion and container availability by trade lane: please enter your details here to get the full report for free.

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