European freight rates finally staged a major counterattack, with a sharp increase of 31.4% in a single week, and a 10.1% increase in the Western United States week (an increase of 38% in the entire July). The two major freight rate increases pushed up the latest Shanghai Export Container Freight Index SCFI to increase by 6.5 % to 1029.23 points, returning to the thousand-point mark. This round of market prices can also be regarded as an early reflection of shipping companies’ push to increase prices on European and American routes in August.
According to the industry, with the limited increase in cargo volume in Europe and the United States and the continued investment in new shipping capacity, shipping companies are approaching the limit of cabin removal and work reduction. Whether the freight rate increase can be maintained in the first week of August will become an important focus of observation.
Shipping companies will simultaneously increase freight rates on the European and American lines on August 1. Among them, the European lines, led by the three major European shipping companies Maersk, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd, are preparing to significantly increase freight rates. A freight forwarder revealed that after receiving the latest quotation on the 27th, the US line is expected to increase by 250-400 US dollars per large box, the US West and US East are targeting US$2,000/3,000 respectively, and the European line is expected to increase by 400-500 US dollars per large box. The U.S. dollar has risen to around $1,600.
Industry insiders believe that it remains to be seen how much the actual increase will be in the first week of August and how long it can be sustained. With the delivery of a large number of new ships, shipping companies will face a great test. However, the industry leader Mediterranean Shipping Company’s capacity increased by as high as 12.2% in the first half of this year, and its trends have attracted much attention.
Shanghai Shipping Exchange SCFI latest index:
American Line: The Shanghai Shipping Exchange stated that transportation demand remains at a high level, the relationship between supply and demand is good, and market freight rates continue to rise.
The freight rate from Shanghai to the West Coast is US$1,943/FEU, an increase of US$179, or 10.15%;
The freight rate from Shanghai to East America is US$2,853/FEU, an increase of US$177, or 6.61%.
European routes: The preliminary value of the Markit comprehensive PMI in the Eurozone fell to 48.9 in July, which was lower than the previous value and market expectations. It hit the lowest level since November last year and was below the boom-bust line of 50 for the second consecutive month. In the future, the European region The prospects for economic recovery are not optimistic. This week, transportation demand performed well, supply and demand fundamentals improved, and shipping companies implemented price increase plans, driving market freight rates to rise significantly.
The freight rate from Shanghai to Europe is US$975/TEU, an increase of US$233, or 31.40%;
The freight rate from Shanghai to the Mediterranean is US$1,503/TEU, an increase of US$96, or 6.61%;
The freight rate per box on the Persian Gulf route was US$839, a sharp drop of 10.6% from the previous issue;
The freight rate per box of the South American line (Santos) was US$2,513, a weekly decrease of US$67, or 2.60%;
The freight rate per box on the Southeast Asia line (Singapore) was US$143, down US$6 or 4.30% on the week.
It is worth noting that compared with SCFI’s freight rates on June 30, the freight rates on the US-Western route increased by 38% monthly, the freight rates on the US-Eastern route increased by 20.48% monthly, the freight rates on the European route increased by 27.79%, and the freight rates on the Mediterranean route increased monthly. 2.52%. The three main routes of the US East, US West and Europe increased by more than 20-30%, much higher than the SCFI index which only rose by 7.93%.
The industry said that this wave of gains depends entirely on the willpower of shipping companies to turn the tide. The shipping industry is facing a peak in new ship deliveries. New ship shipping capacity has continued to accumulate since March. In June, global new shipping capacity was nearly 300,000 TEU, setting a new single-month high. Entering July, the cargo volume in the United States has gradually increased and the cargo volume in Europe has improved slightly. However, it is still difficult to digest the excess shipping capacity and the supply and demand are imbalanced. It mainly relies on shipping companies to deduct cabins and reduce flights to stabilize freight rates. It is reported in the market that the current depletion rate is close to the critical point. . Especially in European routes where many new 20,000 TEU ships have been launched.
Freight forwarders said that the loading rate of many liners that cleared customs at the end of July and early August was less than full. Whether shipping companies can withstand the price increase on August 1 and not fall back will test whether each shipping company has a tacit understanding and is willing to sacrifice loading rates and work together. Maintain freight rates.
Since the beginning of this year, the price of American wire has increased many times. In July, driven by factors such as large-scale work reductions, a rebound in freight volume, strikes at Canadian ports, and the month-end effect, the price increase was successful and remained stable.
The industry points out that freight rates on European and American lines have fallen sharply in the past and are close to or below the cost line, which has strengthened the determination of shipping companies to increase prices. In addition, when the U.S. line was bargaining for freight, the price was low, forcing many small and medium-sized shipping companies to withdraw, and the U.S. line freight rate began to stabilize. As the U.S. line cargo volume gradually increased in June and July, the price increase was successful.
Then, European shipping companies copied the experience of the American line to the European line. Although the cargo volume of the European line has increased recently, it is limited. How long the increase can be maintained still depends on market supply and demand.
Drewry WCI latest index:
The GRI increase, Canadian port strikes and capacity reductions all have a certain impact on U.S. line freight rates. The latest WCI trends show:
The freight rate of Shanghai-Los Angeles (US West Route) exceeded the US$2,000 mark and closed at US$2,072. The last time this freight rate occurred on this route was six months ago.
The freight rate from Shanghai to New York (US East Route) also exceeded the US$3,000 mark, rising 5% to close at US$3,049, once again hitting a six-month high.
The East and West United States pushed the Drewry World Container Index (WCI) up 2.5% to a level of $1,576. Over the past three weeks, WCI has gained $102 (up approximately 7%).
Ningbo Shipping Exchange BCFI latest index:
The Ningbo Export Container Freight Index (NCFI) closed at 755.3 points, an increase of 16.2% from last week. Among the 21 routes, the freight index of 15 routes increased, the freight index of 4 routes fell, and the freight index of 2 routes remained basically unchanged.Cost remains unchanged. Among the major ports along the “Maritime Silk Road”, the freight index of 8 ports increased and the freight index of 8 ports fell.
North American routes: The market has entered the traditional peak season. Supported by increased freight demand and liner companies’ active regulation of available market capacity, route freight rates have risen sharply after August.
The freight index for the East Coast route was 1035.5 points, an increase of 12.7% from last week;
The freight index for the US-West Route was 1158.7 points, an increase of 15.2% from last week.
European and continental routes: Liner companies have collectively increased freight rates for voyages starting after August, and the market freight rates of European and continental routes have increased significantly. Among them, the single-week increase in freight rates on European routes was the largest since 2019.
The European route freight index was 724.7 points, an increase of 56.9% from last week;
The freight index for the Didong route was 829.2 points, an increase of 18.8% from last week;
The freight index for the West-West route was 980.9 points, an increase of 20.7% from last week.
Middle East routes: The market supply and demand relationship has not improved, and the booking price in the spot market has been slightly reduced this week. The Middle East route index was 648.7 points, down 1.3% from last week.
In addition, the following routes have seen greater market fluctuations this week:
Australia-New Zealand route: The market shipment volume increased. In early August, shipping space was tight. Liner companies pushed up freight rates, and booking prices in the spot market increased significantly. The freight index for the Australia-New Zealand route was 529.65 points, an increase of 26.7% from last week.
According to Alphaliner statistics, the shipping industry is ushering in a new ship delivery frenzy. In June this year, the container ship capacity delivered globally was close to 30TEU, setting a new single-month high. A total of 29 ships were delivered, almost one ship per day on average. Since March this year, new ship delivery capacity has continued to rise and will remain at a high level both this year and next.
Clarkson’s data shows that in the first half of this year, a total of 147 container ships with 975,000 TEU were delivered, an annual increase of 129%. Clarkson predicts that global container ship deliveries will reach 2 million boxes this year, and the industry estimates that the peak delivery period may last until 2025.
According to Alphaliner statistics, among the top ten container shipping companies in the world, the tenth-ranked ZIM has the highest capacity increase in the first half of this year, with an increase of 13.3%. The second-highest increase in capacity is the first-ranked Mediterranean Shipping Company, with an increase of 12.2%. The three highest companies are Japan Ocean Network Shipping, which ranked seventh, with an increase of 7.5%; Evergreen Marine Line built a lot of new ships, but the increase was only 0.7%; Yang Ming Marine Shipping capacity decreased by 0.2%; Maersk decreased by 2.1%. Industry estimates Many ship leasing contracts were terminated,
Industry veterans pointed out that in the context of excess market capacity, can shipping companies maintain sufficient tacit understanding? Can the reduction of work on ships be implemented for a long time? Can you keep the freight price without bargaining for goods? Time will tell.