Spot container rates drop for second straight week

The overall SCFI, which combines rates on 15 routes out of Shanghai to ports around the world, dropped 10.9 percent from July 10 to 593.20 points. Rates from Shanghai to Europe were down $181 per TEU to $518 per TEU this week and rates from Shanghai to the Mediterranean were down $208 per TEU to $529 per TEU. The 2015 year-to-date average rate to Northwest Europe was $662 per TEU, down 48 percent from the corresponding period in 2014. Rates from Shanghai to the United States East Coast were also down $177 per 40-foot container (FEU) to $2,635 per FEU and rates from Shanghai to the U.S. West Coast fell $105 per FEU to $1,175 per FEU. Rates to the U.S. West Coast are currently down 39 percent on average from where they were at the start of 2015. Ocean carriers Maersk Line, MSC, CMA CGM, CSCL, COSCO, "K" Line, MOL and UASC have all issued GRI's from Asia effective Aug. 1. In addition, HMM and Yang Ming may look to implement GRIs from Asia Aug. 1 as well, according to Richard Ward, a container derivatives broker at Freight Investor Services in London, but no announcement has been made by the carriers as of yet.

"At current levels carriers are unlikely to see anything more than a partial increase when their next planned GRI comes into force from August 1st," said Ward.