Export demand kept stable, pushing rate up in some trades
Volume remained stable on the China export box market this week. Comprehensive index rose, but the performance of component services varied.
On Mar. 9th, the China Containerized Freight Index issued by Shanghai Shipping Exchange stood at 1,002.71 points, surged 6.4% from last week; while the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index issued by SSE stood at 1,170.57 points, almost no change from last week.
In the Asia/Europe trade lane, volume barely changed and the average slot utilization rate stayed at around 90% this week when it came into the second week since lines carried out the rate rise plan at the beginning of this month.
As the relatively huge rate increase, no substantial volume growth and few capacity cut, the situation that supply outpaces demand has yet to change, and rate started to drop again. However, rate drop restrained this week due to the insistence of lines to hold up the rate. On Mar. 9th, the freight rate plus surcharges from Shanghai to base ports of Europe issued by SSE tumbled 1.7% to $1,388/TEU.
Although the rate hike, effective on Mar.1st, made the biggest growth ever, insiders told the increased rate could just meet the idle expenditure, but still under the breakeven point of lines. It was said that some lines had announced to lift rate again in April.
Space supply was stable this week in the North America service. Volume rose moderately as shippers wanted to secure their cargo on board when they heard that lines would raise rate on Mar.15th. The average slot utilization rate for the USWC and USEC services both went up to around 95%. Despite the firm demand, rate continued to inch down ahead of the rate rise. On Mar. 9th, the freight rates plus surcharges from Shanghai to base ports of USWC and USEC issued by SSE stood at $1,753/FEU and $2,914/FEU, respectively lost 0.3% and 0.1% from last week.
MSC planned to deploy two mega ships, one 12,500 teu vessel and one 11,600 teu vessel, in this trade lane, which means lines started to upgrade the capacity in Pacific, putting a great challenge for market to absorb capacity.
In the Australia and Singapore trade lane, rate soared near the middle of the month and volume elevated this week, with the average slot utilization rate back to around 90%. Rate started to pick up as some lines carried out rate hike. On Mar. 9th, the freight rate plus surcharges from Shanghai to base ports of the Australia and Singapore issued by SSE jumped up 3.6% from last week to $744/TEU.
Demand remained sluggish this week in the South America trade, where the average slot utilization rate lingered at 70% or so. However, the news that some carriers would lift rate shortly slowed the rate decline. On Mar. 9th, the freight rate plus surcharges from Shanghai to base ports of South America issued by SSE tumbled 1.5％ against last week to $1,271/TEU, compared to the decline of 4.8% last week.
In the Japan service, volume kept steady this week, where the average slot utilization rate marked at around 70%. It was reported that some lines started to levy $100/teu of General Bunker Floating (GBF) this week, which somewhat boosted the average rate level. On Mar. 9th, the freight index of the Japan service issued by SSE was reported at 762.78 points.
Shanghai Shipping Exchange