The latest SCFI rose again, and freight rates in most ocean route markets increased, driving the composite index to rise.
Freight rates on most routes increased
The US Line is about to enter a new year’s long-term contract in May. In order to increase the long-term contract freight rate, shipping companies strive to push up the spot market freight rate. The latest Shanghai Export Container Freight Index (SCFI) rose 33.15 points to 956.93 points, an increase of 3.59%. , rising for two consecutive weeks;
The freight rate per large box (40-foot container) on the US-West route is US$1,292, an increase of US$144 in a single week, an increase of 12.54%.
The world is holding its breath to wait for when freight rates will rebound. The latest SCFI index shows that freight rates on the four major routes have all increased, and the rebound in each route has increased:
North American route: After continuous adjustments, freight rates have fallen to low levels. This week, transportation demand was generally stable. Some airlines took measures to control the scale of transportation capacity to promote freight rate increases, and freight rates rebounded in the spot market.
The freight rate from Shanghai to the US West Coast is US$1,292/FEU, a weekly increase of US$144, or 12.54% (the industry believes that the freight rate decline has come to an end).
The freight rate from Shanghai to East America is US$2,147/FEU, a weekly increase of US$137, or 6.82%.
European routes: As concerns about economic recession and energy markets in the euro zone have eased, inflationary pressures have also eased, and market confidence continues to recover. Transportation demand remains stable, supply and demand are balanced, and market freight rates rise slightly.
The current European line freight rate from Shanghai to Europe is US$877/TEU, an increase of US$14, or 1.62%.
The freight rate of the current Mediterranean route from Shanghai to the Mediterranean is US$1,621/TEU, a weekly increase of US$19, or 1.19%.
The freight rate per box on the South American route (Santos) is US$1,817, a weekly increase of US$96, or 5.58%.
In the Persian Gulf route, transportation demand has performed well recently, the balance between supply and demand is good, and market freight rates continue to rise. The freight rate was US$1,092/TEU, an increase of 5.0% from the previous issue.
On the Australia-New Zealand route, the local market’s demand for various materials is relatively weak, the fundamentals of supply and demand have weakened, and spot booking prices have continued to trend downward. The freight rate was US$267/TEU, down 16.0% from the previous issue.
The freight rate per box on the Southeast Asia line (Singapore) was US$196, down 3 yuan or 1.51% on the week.
Since April, the industry has begun to call for price increases, and price increase notices have been delivered to customers. Yang Ming and Wan Hai pointed out that freight rates should return to reasonable levels. For the Far East-North America line contract that is being negotiated, customers do not continue to bargain. Instead, they hope that shipping companies can provide stable shipping spaces and reasonable freight rates. They estimate the length of the U.S. line The new contract price is expected to be higher than the spot price.
Things are getting better! Reduced number of empty containers in container truck shuttles
Foreign trade picks up, port prophet
The port is a barometer of foreign trade, and foreign trade demand also directly affects the busyness of the port.
Recently, at Mawan Port in the western port area of Shenzhen, a subsidiary of China Merchants Port, external collection cards and internal collection cards (including unmanned collection cards) are coming and going non-stop.
The scene in front of me is completely different from the previous “description” of empty container stacking at the port. Many port companies said that since March, the level of empty container storage at the port has dropped from its high point, and the volume of containers is gradually recovering.
It is reported that the high level of empty containers at Shenzhen West Terminal was in February this year, and the empty container inventory has gradually declined since then. The first-quarter data of many port companies were also better than the same period last year. Industry insiders predict that the foreign trade market is expected to pick up further in the third quarter.
Judging from the berthing situation of container ships, in the first quarter of this year, the number of container ship berthings in the Shenzhen West Port increased by 16.4% year-on-year, and increased by 1% compared with the fourth quarter of 2022.
Among them, the number of container ship berthings in Mawan Port increased by 9.8% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year. The bridges are not idle either. There are a total of 62 bridges at Mawan Port, with a utilization rate of more than 95%.
It is reported that the source of goods in the Shenzhen West Port Area is mainly the Pearl River Delta region. Currently, container goods exported from the port area cover furniture, home appliances, fruits, daily necessities, etc., and are shipped to Europe, the United States, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and other places.
In addition, Guangzhou Port Xinsha Company’s foreign trade container unloading volume increased by 11.2% year-on-year in the first quarter; Qingdao Port’s port operations are recovering, but a complete recovery will still take time;
Recently, the number of empty containers in Ningbo Zhoushan Port has also declined, and foreign trade exports have improved significantly. Statistics disclosed so far show that the number of empty containers stored in Ningbo Zhoushan Port is about 410,000 TEUs, down from 470,000 TEUs in early March. About 60,000 TEUs.
However, there are also cautiously optimistic voices in the industry regarding the recovery of foreign trade. Zhang Li, operations director of Shanghai Evergreen International Logistics Co., Ltd., said that the Thai-Vietnam line in Southeast Asia was relatively popular in March, with a significant increase in unit volume. Subsequently, the end of Ramadan and Water Splashing Festival shipments in Southeast Asia may have led to a month-on-month decline in unit volume in April. In terms of European and American lines, due to limited demand, the impact may be the most significant this year, and the situation in the second half of the year remains to be seen.
In addition, analysts pointed out that among the ports in South China, Guangzhou Port and Shenzhen Western Port Area mainly focus on Southeast Asian routes, so they recovered quickly. However, for example, Yantian International Container Terminal, in which Yantian Port has a stake, mostly operates European and American routes. Its throughput has declined significantly before, and it is possible to recover.Not that easy.
“But we learned from relevant customers that different industries are experiencing different changes. There are some (low-value) industries that are moving (to Southeast Asia and other places); (other) some industries may be in the process of outbreak, such as emerging industries. ——Exports of new energy vehicles and photovoltaics. Our country’s (export) resilience is still very high, so I think (foreign trade prices) may have a correction in the second quarter, but a recovery in the third quarter is a high probability event.” China Merchants Port Managing Director Xu Song said.