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Transpacific may give peak season a pass

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 25, 2011

Inbound figures provided by online market intelligence companies may be reliable, but they only tell part of the story.

According to London-based Drewry Shipping Consultants, spot rates on the Transpacific slid 5.6 percent last week to $1,561 per 40-foot container equivalent unit, (FEU) or 37.4 percent below their levels of a year ago.

This weekly index shows that while inbound volumes are better than expected, rate decline signals a soft peak season for pre-holiday imports from Asia.

As we have been reporting, vessel capacity continues to outpace cargo growth, leaving cargo interests with plenty of space on ships and depressed spot rates.

The Drewry index is based on spot rates reported by non-vessel-operating common carriers in Hong Kong for shipments to Los Angeles. It excludes terminal handling charges in Hong Kong but includes fuel surcharges.

The index hit its 2011 high in January at $2,119 per FEU. Last week’s index was down from last week’s $1,653.

The index bumped up to 21.5 percent to $1,853 per FEU after hitting bottom at $1,525 in early August.

There it remained, at $1,857 for two consecutive weeks before drifting lower during the last three weeks.


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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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