Freightos Baltic Global Index Decreased 18% To $3,320/FEU

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  • The Freightos Baltic Global index fell 18% to $3,320/FEU in October as demand slows to Europe and on the transpacific and as easing congestion at US West Coast ports increases available capacity.
  • The index is at its lowest rate since December of 2020, 68% lower than its level a year ago, though still 170% higher than October 2019.

A recent news article published in the Baltic Exchange states that FBX Index October: Market Summary.

Falling demand meant significant rate decreases

Falling demand meant significant rate decreases on all the ex-Asia lanes this month, but port congestion on the US East Coast and at many major European hubs may be slowing the speed of the rate fall on those lanes somewhat despite falling volumes.

Record congestion at the start of the year saw more than 150 ships waiting for a berth somewhere in North America, with three quarters floating off the West Coast. That total has now dipped below 100. But the shift of volumes away from the West Coast due to last year’s congestion and fear of labour disruptions means that the majority of these vessels are now off the East Coast and the Gulf – with single digits waiting outside LA/Long Beach.

Easing demand meant that Asia – US East Coast rates nonetheless fell 18% this month to $5,596/FEU and have declined 67% since April but remain 110% higher than in 2019.

But by comparison, as congestion has eased and more capacity circulates on the West Coast, Asia – US West Coast prices fell 17% this month to $2,443/FEU, its lowest level since June of 2020, have fallen 84% since April and are “only” 82% higher than in 2019.

Likewise, falling demand since January on the China to North Europe Lane has pushed rates down by 67% since the start of the year. Prices declined more than 30% since September – the largest percentage point drop of the major lanes this month – to $4,823/FEU. But persistent congestion has kept rates almost 4.5 times higher than in 2019.

Transatlantic rates have decreased by 15% since the end of August and fell 7% since September to $7,041/FEU. But port congestion and possibly more resilient demand have kept rates even with the start of the year and 3.5 times higher than in 2019.

Transatlantic prices are typically about on par with Asia – US West Coast rates but are currently more than $4,000/FEU more expensive, and $1,000 – $2,000 higher than rates from Asia to the East Coast or Europe.  So, the moderate rate fall of the last couple months could be a result of carriers shifting now available capacity to this now more lucrative lane.

About Judah Levine, Research Lead, Freightos

Judah is an experienced market research manager, using data-driven analytics to deliver market-based insights. Judah produces the Freightos Group’s FBX Weekly Freight Update and other research on what’s happening in the industry from shipper behaviors to the latest in logistics technology and digitization.

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Source: Baltic Exchange

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