Container spot rates surge across major trades

The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) rose 9.3% on Friday compared to the previous week, climbing 214.97 points to 2,520.76. This follows a significant jump of 365.16 points the prior week, marking a 29.8% increase over the past two weeks.

These gains indicate a recovery in container spot rates, regaining lost ground as the Red Sea situation stabilizes with rerouting via the Cape of Good Hope. However, despite adding 1.14 million TEU of new capacity this year, container lines still face a shortage of 36 ships on the Asia-Europe trade, according to analyst Alphaliner.

Analysts at Drewry report a similar trend, with their World Container Index (WCI) rising 11% on May 16 to $3,511 per FEU, following a 16% increase the previous week. The WCI is now 104% higher than the same period in 2023.
Freight rates have increased on both the Asia-Europe and Transpacific trades. Drewry notes that rates from Shanghai to Rotterdam, Los Angeles, and New York have increased by 12% to $4,172, $4,476, and $5,717 per 40ft container, respectively. The Shanghai-Genoa route saw an 11% rise to $4,776 per FEU.

Looking ahead, Drewry expects freight rates ex-China to rise further due to increased demand, tight capacity, and the need to reposition empty containers.