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Shipping rates suffer a ‘massive’ dip

Global – Average container freight rates from Asia to North-Europe ‘continue to drop’ and are now at US$ 2564 per 40-foot container and US$ 1341 per 20-foot, according to rate comparison service Xeneta.

Over recent months, the global market index for sea freight has been on a ‘consistent downward slope’ following the general rate increase of March and April, according to Xeneta. ‘Due to overcapacity and various economic turmoil in the market, the market index for 40-foot (containers) has taken a massive dip with it being down 44% from May 2012,’ it reveals.

The fall in ocean rates is visible across several ‘popular’ Asia-North Europe trade lanes; for the Shanghai-Rotterdam route, average shipping prices for containerised freight has averaged a mere US$ 1141 per 20-foot container and US$ 1978 per 40-foot.

These figures contradict Drewry’s market index average for the same trade lane of US$ 1335 per 40-foot. While Drewry’s index is based on rates collected from several freight sellers, it is explained, Xeneta collects actual data from a large member base of both freight buyers and sellers.

‘Overpaying on routes’

‘Even though the market is dropping, there are still freight buyers that cannot keep up with the rapid fluctuations in the market, resulting in them overpaying on their routes,’ says Xeneta’s ceo Patrik Berglund. Even ‘one of the best-in-class performers’ has a price under US$ 1200 per 40-foot for Shanghai to Rotterdam. ‘That is why it’s so incredibly important to benchmark your own prices against the market,’ he adds.

On May 23, Xeneta put the Hong Kong-Hamburg rate at US$ 1998 per 40-foot and Singapore-Bremerhaven at US$ 2038.

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