Container rates slip, but composite average up over 2016

Containership coming into the Port of Rotterdam Containership coming into the Port of Rotterdam Freek Van Arkel

MAY 26, 2017—This past week, the World Container Index—a composite of container freight rates on eight major routes to/from the U.S., Europe and Asia—was down by 3.6% to $1,446.81/40ft container, according to shipping consultant Drewry. 

chart 1

While the World Container Index did slip by 3.6% this week, it is up by 54% from the same period of 2016. Drewry reports the average composite index of the World Container Index for the year to date is $1,580/40 ft container, $120 lower than the five-year average of $1,701/40 ft container.

Drewry says, “We expect rates to level off next week before heading north on the back of the June 1 GRIs.”The spot rates on the Asia-Europe trade declined further, resulting in the WCI on Shanghai to Rotterdam dropping by 3% or $52 to $1,759 for a 40 ft box. Similarly, the rates on Transpacific also declined; Shanghai-Los Angeles and Shanghai-New York fell by another 11% and 5%, respectively.

As shown in the accompanying table below, overall spot freight rates seem to be well above last year’s rates, except for the New York-Rotterdam and Rotterdam-New York routes.

chart 2

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