Liners are bracing for a tough second half of the year with rates sliding across the board in recent weeks. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) spot rates from China to North Europe currently stand at just $810 per teu , down 19% since the beginning of the year and 15% lower than the same time last year.
“Carriers have struggled to raise rates on the route this year due to the introduction of new megamax vessel capacity on the route,” Alphaliner noted in its most recent weekly report.
Despite HMM deciding to withdraw its Asia-Europe Express (AEX) standalone service later this month, Alphaliner warned the move may not be sufficient to stop freight rates from falling in the rest of the year, with demand expected to soften over the coming weeks.
The latest figures on the transpacific are also underwhelming, especially considering August is meant to be the peak season.
Latest freight rates for services destined to the west coast of North America declined 7.2% to $1,474 per fey. East coast freight rates fell 5% to $2,660 per feu.
“The combination of advanced shipments in May, a recent drop in advance shipments due to the tariff truce, and insufficient time to advance ship and beat the now-instituted tariffs all add up to surprisingly low August demand,” commented Eytan Buchman, CMO at online freight platform Freightos in a recent weekly report.
On the Mediterranean trade, there has been some glimmer of hope with many shipping companies announcing a peak season surcharges from tomorrow, lifting spot rates by 14.6% to $974 per teu.