Why are ocean rates still so high? Ocean rate slides have slowed despite increasing signs of slowing demand, leaving prices well above pre-Covid levels.
Higher carrier volumes and issues of ongoing port congestion around the globe have resulted in persistently high ocean rates. And these elevated rates are expected to remain high well beyond peak season.
Elevated rates are expected to remain high well beyond peak season
At the same time, air cargo rates are falling. The rebound in transatlantic passenger air travel over the summer months added capacity and pushed air cargo rates down by over 10%.
Demand continues to decline. The manufacturing industry in China contracted unexpectedly over the summer. Consumer spending in the US has taken a dip, too, with major retailers projecting a decrease in revenue. And all the time, inflation continues to climb.
But, some ocean carriers remain optimistic about volumes. Despite these signs of a slowdown, they are predicting good transpacific volumes over the coming months. Even with demand in decline, the combined factors of port disruptions, ongoing port congestion, and labour issues will keep container rates higher than usual on all major trade routes.