Transpacific ocean freight peak season has been a bonanza, with prices still more than double last year. However, carriers cancelled the 1 December General Rate Increase (GRI), doubting if the demand would stay up. This week, West Coast prices are down $254, while East Coast prices are down $177.
Front-loading from China
“Many importers from China front-loaded in advance of the 1 January scheduled increase to the 10% trade tariff. That boosted transpacific peak pricing, but there is a limit as to how much front-loading you can, or should, do. With the majority of pre-Christmas demand now largely over, prices have faltered recently”– Zvi Schreiber, CEO, Freightos.
|Week 48||Week 47||Last year*|
|China – US West Coast||$2,198||-10%||128%|
|China – US East Coast||$3,601||-5%||123%|
|China – North Europe||$1,477||1%||11%|
|North Europe – US East Coast||$1,515||0%||34%|
|* Compared to the corresponding week in 2017|
Trend till CNY
Now that the tariff increase has been given a 90-day reprieve, transpacific prices should continue trending downwards, in all likelihood up until Chinese New Year (CNY).
Although transpacific prices dropped this week (West Coast from $2,452 to $2,198, East Coast from $3,778 to $3,601), they are still more than twice the price of this time last year.
This week marks the 18th week in a row that China-East Coast prices have been above the $3,000 mark. For China-West Coast, it’s the 17th week prices have been higher than $2,000, although this run will likely end next week.
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Source: Baltic Briefing