Liners have had a successful start to the year, managing to push through general rate increases and fuel-related surcharges across many tradelanes.
Online platform Freightos is reporting that China-US west coast rates leapt 16% in the past week from $1,722 per feu to $2,003. Similarly China-east coast prices jumped 13% from $2,779 to $3,137, while China-north Europe prices also increased 13% with Freightos reporting more carriers will increase their FAK rates during the month.
Starting from January 1 this year, many top liners have introduced fuel surcharges linked to the global sulphur cap due to kick in from the start of 2020.
Coming into contract renegotiation time at this time, carriers will be hoping that spot prices stay high, Freightos observed in a weekly update.
With these three indexes all up, Freightos’s global index also jumped this week, by 10% to $1,552.
“Here’s the playbook. Transpacific ocean prices drop just before Christmas, and then pick up again early January as logistics managers start replenishing stock. Chinese New Year shutdown causes prices to spike again, but after that, they fall away until next peak season,” commented Philip von Mecklenburg-Blumenthal, a vice president at Freightos. He went on to add: “Well, President Trump tore up the playbook. Importers, fearing trade tariff increases, imported early, pushing prices up from early summer. They were already over-stocked before the latest trade tariff got a 90-day reprieve. If the tariffs go back on, prices will go up again.”