Ocean Cargo: Spot pricing escalates in Asia-U.S. trade lane

Spot prices for transpacific shipping services have grown by more than 180 percent during the past 12 months to reach a five-year high.

By ·

Spot prices for transpacific shipping services have grown by more than 180 percent during the past 12 months to reach a five-year high. Experts describe the increase as a “mini container shipping boom.”

Shipping consultant Drewry’s Hong Kong-Los Angeles container rate benchmark hit $2,607 per 40-ft (FEU) container last week – 19 percent higher than the previous week and 182 percent higher than the same week in 2009.

But Drewry pointed out that the trade had been suffering with “serious overcapacity and price discounting” in 2009.

It added that the jump in transpacific container rates reflected new peak season surcharges, very tight eastbound transpacific ship capacity and a shortage of boxes, which is becoming an issue in China as well as in the US.

Drewry said eastbound transpacific freight rates, under annual contracts signed in May and June for the 2010/2011 season were also more than twice the previous low levels of the 2009-10 season.

“The rebound in spot container freight rates has been phenomenal, as rates now substantially exceed pre-crisis levels of about $2,000 per 40-foot box,” said Philip Damas, dditor of the Drewry Container Freight Rate Insight report, which contains the data.

“Whether you look at Hong Kong-to-Los Angeles, Shanghai-to-LA, Shanghai-to-New York or Shanghai-to-Chicago, all our weekly container rate benchmarks from port to port or from port to inland point show year-on-year increases of more than 60 percent.

“It is a mini container shipping boom, ahead of the full recovery of the real economy,” he added.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Ocean Freight · Shipping · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
B2B Sellers Prefer a Unified Approach for Ecommerce
A new study from Forrester Consulting, commissioned by NetSuite, found that many midmarket, B2B sellers say their ecommerce solutions have contributed to their growth in sales, new customer acquisitions and improved customer relationships.
Download Today!
From the August 2016 Issue
A growing number of low-cost lift trucks offer new avenues for pairing equipment and applications, but less cautious buyers might find that small up-front costs come at a steep price. Selecting the proper lift truck, lift truck tips 2016, Choosing the right Lift Truck
Megatrends in ocean freight
Ocean Cargo Roundtable: What’s in store for 2017?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...

Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....
Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...