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Container Freight Industry News | Supply Chain Industry News

Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI®) July 2023: Ocean freight rates spiral downwards as low demand squeezes carriers further

Xeneta Shipping Index - XSI®

The average rate fall for all but three long-term XSI sub-indices topped 50% year on year in July. Dig into more detail in our latest blog post as weak demand forces industry challenges and added pressure looms from overcapacity.


Global XSI®

The global XSI hit a two-year low in July, down by 9.5% from June and now approaching a fall of 60% from one year ago. There was some improvement in volumes from the previous months but there is little room for optimism as demand is still down on a year ago. Overcapacity is also baring its teeth following the highest month ever for new ship deliveries, and there is more to come.


European Imports & Exports 

The XSI for European imports was down by 12.0% in July from the previous month, meaning rates have more than halved since the turn of the year, crashing by 52.7%. Exports from Europe have performed even worse in the first five months of this year.


US Imports & Exports

The US XSI for imports fell slightly by 2.9% in July from the previous month, but the rate stays above 200 points, standing as the only sub-index more than twice as expensive as the average rate in January 2017. US West Coast strike threats were removed but fresh port disputes in Canada kicked off.


Far East Import & Exports

The XSI for Far East exports hit its lowest point since April 2021 with an additional 2.7% fall in July compared with June. Imports in July fell by 13.3% from June to 120.2 points, making this the lowest of all the XSI sub-indices.


The global shipping industry continues to face declining rates due to weak demand. Far East exports and European imports continue to be significantly affected, while new strike threats have risen in North America. There are some positive signs on select trade routes, but inevitable overcapacity is casting a long shadow. Adapting strategies to navigate these challenging market conditions is crucial for industry stakeholders.

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Note: Xeneta's XSI® is compiled from the latest crowd-sourced ocean freight rate data aggregated worldwide. Companies participating in the benchmarking and market analytics platform include names such as ABB, Electrolux, Continental, Unilever, Nestle, L'Oréal, Thyssenkrupp, Volvo Group and John Deere, amongst others. 

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