The Chinese New Year holiday usually signals the start of discounted rates from ocean carriers. But not this year, it seems.
Shippers face inflated freight rates right into the second quarter, as carriers maintain their high-rate strategy.
In the current climate, carriers are flooded with bookings. As such, they are keeping capacity tight and favouring high-paying spot cargo.
While rates remain high, shippers are also have to pay additional charges on top. These include account equipment and space guarantee fees along with other levies. Forwarders are finding that unless they agree to the extra charges, the carriers refuse to entertain their bookings.
Rolf Habben Jansen, Hapag-Lloyd CEO, commented:
“It will be well into the second quarter before we get back to anywhere near normal”
The Ningbo Containerized Freight Index (NCFI) component for North Europe came down slightly to $6,758 per 40ft.
The FBX (Freightos Baltic Index) for North Europe stood still at $7,827 per 40ft.
Spot rates from Asia to west Mediterranean ports were recorded by the NCFI this week at $6,820 per 40ft, while for the FBX, they stood at $8,087 per 40ft.
The FBX reading for Asia to the US was stable this week, at $4,286 and $5,716 per 40ft respectively for the west and east coasts.