Baltimore Rerouting Not Impacting Broader Ocean Operations Or Rates So Far

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Salvage crews have already started working to clear the wreckage from last week’s bridge collapse in Baltimore.

Despite this task’s complexity and obstacles in the way, the US Army Corp of Engineers estimates it will take weeks, not months, to restore full access to the port.

First priority

Teams will first work to open a temporary channel allowing easier access for recovery vessels and restoring some commercial traffic to the port, though the dimensions and depth will not accommodate large vessels like container carriers.

With these shifts and farther road/rail distances required, though, these shippers will face longer lead times and additional costs which will be a particular challenge for exporters of lower-valued goods.

In terms of any broader impact on container trade, Baltimore-bound vessels that add port calls at alternative ports will create some additional traffic there, while many that already make scheduled calls at these ports will need to offload more volumes during these calls.

But Baltimore is not a major player in regional or national container traffic, and with the above steps also aimed at minimising any broader impact on container operations, port officials in NY/NJ and Norfolk

Ocean rates climbed sharply

Outside of the Baltimore impact, ocean rates that had climbed sharply at the beginning of the year on Red Sea diversions and Lunar New Year demand may be reaching their new diversion-adjusted floor. Decreases from January/February peaks on the impacted ex-Asia lanes have slowed in recent weeks, and recent rate announcements by some carriers suggest they are hoping to keep rates at the US$3,000 – US$3,500/FEU level to Europe and US$3,500 – US$4,300/FEU level to the Mediterranean this month.

Ocean rates – Freightos Baltic Index:

  • Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) fell 3% to US$3,628/FEU.
  • Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) were level at US$5,291/FEU.
  • Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) increased 2% to US$3,258/FEU.
  • Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) increased 17% to US$5,307/FEU.

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Source : Containernews