Drewry said Asia-Europe spot container rates have soared ahead of annual contract talks.
It said the Shanghai-Rotterdam container freight rate index increased by 38 percent, or $788 per 40-foot container today, to $2,865 per 40-foot container, "marking the latest of several huge price swings in the Asia-Europe container shipping market."
The weekly World Container Index assessed by Drewry, which captures freight rates with a contract validity of up to one month, confirmed Thursday that the price increases announced by container shipping lines from Nov. 1 were largely accepted by the market.
“About three quarters of the planned $500-per-TEU rate increases was implemented, based on our market assessments in China and Europe,” said Richard Heath, director of World Container Index.
Martin Dixon, research manager for freight rate benchmarking at Drewry, commented “We expect this rate increase to be partly reversed in the next few weeks. However, the rate increases will probably influence the annual contract negotiations for 2013, by setting a higher price platform of rates, when compared to the situation a year ago.”
Drewry stressed that week-to-week increases in rates are less significant than how long they will stick.
The World Container Index is a 50-50 joint venture between research and advisory specialist Drewry and Cleartrade Exchange, an electronic marketplace for OTC freight and commodity swaps. - Chris Dupin