Freight rates for containers from Asia to northern Europe fell slightly this week as carriers "hoarded" inventories built up ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.The Baltic Freight Index (FBX) for a 40-foot container from Asia to Northern Europe stood at $8,308 on Tuesday, up from $8,430 a week earlier.
However, rates from Asia to the US are rising again.FBX spot rates for Asian to Mediterranean ports edged up $74 to $7, 967 per 40 feet.
However, freight rates in northern Europe and the Mediterranean are now a staggering 400 per cent and 325 per cent higher, respectively, than they were a year ago.
Early last year, shipping companies canceled as much as a third of their main east-west routes in response to the outbreak in China.At the time, despite the aggressive introduction of blank sailing schemes by shipping companies, ship utilisation rates fell to around 70% in Europe and 60% in the US, putting enormous downward pressure on rates.
But a year later, the outlook for shippers is very different, with major shipping lines preparing to introduce peak season surcharges (PSS) four months early.In fact, Hapag-Lloyd announced that it will charge $875 /TEU for PSS on routes from the Far East to Northern Europe starting March 1.
The early introduction of peak season surcharges (PSS) is further evidence of shipping companies’ confidence in their booking visibility in the second quarter.
Freight rates from Asia to the US West Coast rose by $268 to $4,922 per 40 feet, according to FBX.
The spot rate to the East Coast rose $119 to $5,822.
"The U.S. demand for sea-based imports continues to overwhelm the two important ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach," said Freightos Director Judah Levine, noting that Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, estimated it would take a month to clear the backlog of ships at anchor.
According to Signal, a platform based at the Port of Los Angeles, as of Tuesday local time, there were 17 ships at anchor for an average of 7.7 days.There are 13 ships waiting for pre-anchoring.It's less than the previous period.
The MSC Ariane container ship deployed to Pearl service was forced to stay at sea on April 2 after an engine issue caused by bad fuel quality on its way from Xiamen, China, to Los Angeles.And there will be a berthing delay in the port of LA
On March 23, a rare shipping accident occurred in the Suez Canal, one of the world's busiest shipping arteries.More than 100 ships have been blocked in the Suez Canal after a giant container ship owned by Evergreen Marine, Ever Given, ran aground.