CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE STUDI CONTAINERS
ANNO XXXVIII - Numero MAGGIO 2020
SPIKE IN ASIA-EUROPE SPOT RATES AS SPACE TIGHTENS AND
There has been a significant spike in carrier short-term
container rate quotes from Asia to North Europe this week, as
rollovers become the norm.
According to eeSea data, ocean carriers on the route have
withdrawn 28% of their headhaul sailings this month and reports from
local agents suggest ships from China are sailing full, resulting in
rollovers of non-VIP cargo.
Indeed, a local agent source told The Loadstar MSC had hiked its
Shanghai to Felixstowe rate, valid until 30 May, by 20%, to $1,660
"Space is extremely tight," said the agent. "There
are cheaper rates in the market from HMM and Yang Ming, but in most
cases they don't have the space allocation and containers just get
rolled from one ship to the next."
This tightening supply situation was confirmed by UK-based
forwarder Westbound Logistics. It said: "A surge in recent
bookings, believed to be due to the lifting of restrictions in some
parts of Europe, the flood of PPE volume and air freight volumes
switching to ocean, has led to more demand than the available
Westbound co-owner and director Ryan Clark told The Loadstar
today air freight capacity issues and sea freight rollovers were a
"nightmare", and despite "working incredibly hard to
ensure bookings are shipped on time", Westbound was
recommending to customers that they may need contingency plans to
cover the risk of delays.
According to eeSea data, the blanked sailings mean that,
collectively, carriers are offering shippers and forwarders just 72%
of advertised capacity, with total Asia-North Europe capacity for
May at 979,000 teu against 1.35m teu originally scheduled.
However, today's Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) was
flat for North Europe, at $827 per teu, while rates for
Mediterranean ports were also virtually unchanged, at $879 per teu.
However, it was suggested to The Loadstar by one industry source
this week that the lack of movement in the SCFI spot average could
be due to a rate gap starting to emerge between "premier and
lower division" lines.
Meanwhile, on the transpacific carriers have started to
"unblank" some cancelled sailings to meet a spike in
OOCL told customers today that, "in response to the demand
change in the market", it was reinstating the Pacific China
South 1's 9 June sailing from China to the US west coast and the 28
June Gulf Coast China 2 sailing to the US Gulf .
Earlier this week, The Loadstar reported that THE Alliance was
also to "reinsert" two transpacific sailings next month.
Mirroring the Asia-Europe trades, the US components of the SCFI
were almost unchanged on the week, at $1,678 per 40ft for the west
coast and $2,543 per 40ft for east coast ports.
Carriers on both tradelanes have shown judicious capacity
management discipline and appear to be seeing better-than-expected
demand and improved booking visibility.
Nevertheless, nobody is suggesting that there will be a peak
season this year.
"We are still in survival mode," a carrier source told
The Loadstar. "Hopefully, the industry can continue to manage
what looks like quite a sustained period of soft demand as economies
start to recover slowly from the pandemic."
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