22 July 2022


Shipping consultants reported this week that container freight rates have further decreased, corresponding to the broader trend of decreasing freight rates since early 2022, but have not reached pre-pandemic levels yet.

Drewry’s composite index decreased by 2.6% this week – the 21st consecutive weekly decrease – $6,820.04 per 40ft container and is 24% lower than the same week in 2021. Freight rates on Shanghai – Genoa dropped by 5% or $529 to $10,300 per 40ft container. Rates on Shanghai – Rotterdam slid 1% or $90 to $9,092 per feu, and Drewry expects the index to decrease in the next few weeks. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which measures spot prices on container freight from the major Chinese city to a range of destinations around the world, also follows the same trend and declined by 1.9% this week to 3,996.77. The SCFI decreased for the sixth week in a row, after a four-week increase in May-June 2022.

“A decrease in consumer demand, together with the high starting point and the fact that many importers shipped peak season orders earlier in the year, could account for falling rates and volumes that, nonetheless, remain high by pre-pandemic standards,” said Judah Levine, Freightos Group’s head of research. Despite recent decline in freight rates, Akhil Nair, Seko Logistics’ VP global carrier management and ocean strategy did not believe they would fall back to pre-pandemic levels, as shipping lines would cut capacity if demand fell. Mr Nair said he expected carriers would resort to “more structured” blank sailings if, and when, the current port congestion-related ‘operational’ blank sailings unwind, to mitigate any short-term demand reduction.

Source: Drewry, ShippingWatch, The Loadstar