Asia/Europe ocean freight rates continued their nosedive in July, according to the latest figures from Container Trades Statistics
(CTS), which gathers volume and price information from carriers on trades to and from Europe.
CTS’s rate index on westbound head-haul Asia/Europe shipments dropped below 80 (the benchmark is 100) in July, its lowest point since August 2009. The westbound Asia/Europe trade is also the lowest of the six trades CTS tracks in its rate index. Four of the six were under 100 on the index and three of those four (Asia-to-Europe, Indian Subcontinent and Middle East-to-Europe, and South and Central America-to-Europe) fell noticeably from April.
Meanwhile, eastbound transatlantic and Oceania/Europe trades were above 100 on the index and have been trending upward since the start of 2011. The westbound transatlantic trade, however, was below 90 on the rate index in July, though it has been relatively stable through the last year.
CTS, the organization that developed out of the now-defunct European Liner Affairs Association, said there was a noticeable divergence between import and export European trade in July. It tracks volume on a seventh trade, to and from sub-Saharan Africa, that is not reflected in its rate index.
“Exports from Europe on all seven trades monitored are up on June except India/Middle East,” CTS said. “Imports to Europe, on the other hand, are down on all trades except Asia. All major trades remain more solid than a year ago.”
For the year, westbound Asia-Europe volume tracked by CTS is up 5.4 percent, to 8.2 million TEUs. It grew 7.7 percent in July, to 1.3 million TEUs.