asia

FBX Weekly: $5000+/FEU on most major ex-Asia lanes the new normal to close 2020


Key insights:

  1. Demand for ocean freight sent rates on both transpacific lanes climbing 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.
  2. Rates from China to the US West Coast passed the $4,000/FEU mark and are triple their level from a year ago, and prices to the East Coast broke the $5,000/FEU barrier hitting a rate 42% higher than their 2018 high, set just ahead of the US-China tariff roll outs.

China-US rates:

  • China-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) increased 8% to $4,189/FEU. This rate is 207% higher than the same time last year.
  • China-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) climbed 9% to $5,397/FEU, and are 110% higher than rates for this week last year.
  • Analysis

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.

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.

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.



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