‘Volatile’ 2020 ends with ‘a new normal cost of more than $5,000 to ship a container from Asia on most lanes,’ according to digital rates specialist Freightos. Still-surging demand for ocean freight and the resulting global equipment shortage pushed rates up across most of the major ex-Asia lanes this week, after what seemed like a slowing in upward pressure last week, according to the latest international freight update published by digital rates specialist Freightos, which incorporates the Freightos Baltic Index (FBX).
“Most surprisingly, rates on both transpacific lanes climbed significantly for the first time since mid-September, perhaps signalling that carriers’ tacit agreement with Chinese regulators not to increase prices on these lanes may be coming to an end,” noted Research Lead, Judah Levine.
“Rates from China to the US West Coast increased 8% and passed the $4,000/FEU mark to a new high and a level triple its rate this time last year. Prices to the East Coast climbed 9% breaking the $5,000/FEU barrier, and hit a rate 42% higher than their 2018 high set just ahead of the US-China tariff roll outs.
“And though rates from Asia to the Mediterranean stayed stable, Asia-North Europe prices leaped another 19%, to $5,662/FEU, doubling in the last four weeks and triple its rate a year ago.”
Levine added: “So a most volatile 2020 ends with more rate volatility, with a new normal cost of more than $5,000 to ship a container from Asia on most lanes.”