At the start of the year, spot and long-term rates from North Europe to the US East Coast fell by the largest amount. The rates fell by around 10%, bringing spot rates under USD 6 500 per FEU for the first time since December 2021 and long-term rates under USD 6 000 per FEU.
Though these rates are still very high compared to pre-pandemic levels, these drops show the crack on the trans-Atlantic. For many months, this trade has seen very soft declines in rates compared to other major fronthaul trades.
Despite the recent drops, there is still plenty of room for both spot and long-term rates to fall. Looking back to January 2021, rates for both contract types averaged USD 2 000 per FEU, around a third of today’s level.
Falling demand on this trade, easing congestion on either side of the North Atlantic basin, and softening volumes from the Far East are partly responsible for this drop. But, a more significant reason is the injection of capacity on this trade.
The 'Weekly Container Rates Update' blog analysis is derived directly from the Xeneta platform. In some instances, it may diverge from the public rates available on the XSI ®-C (Xeneta Shipping Index by Compass, xsi.xeneta.com. Both indices are based on the same Xeneta data set and data quality procedures; however, they differ in their aggregation methodologies.
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