Surge in Container Freight Rates: SCFI and WCI Report Significant Gains


  • The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) rose 9.3% on Friday compared to the previous week, reaching 2,520.76 points, up by 214.97 points. 
  • This follows a 365.16-point increase the previous week, marking a 29.8% rise over the past two weeks.
  • These gains indicate a recovery in container spot rates, which had declined in recent months
  • It is due to disruptions in the Red Sea and rerouting via the Cape of Good Hope.
  • Despite the addition of 1.14 million TEU of new capacity this year, the Asia-Europe trade still faces a shortage of 36 ships, according to analyst Alphaliner.

WCI Reflects Similar Trends

Analysts at Drewry reported a similar upward trend in their World Container Index (WCI), which rose 11% on 16 May to $3,511 per FEU. The WCI had increased by 16% the previous week, making it 104% higher than the same period in 2023.

Increases Across Major Trade Routes

Freight rates have risen across both Asia-Europe and Transpacific trades. Drewry noted that rates from Shanghai to Rotterdam, Shanghai to Los Angeles, and Shanghai to New York increased by 12%, reaching $4,172, $4,476, and $5,717 per 40ft container, respectively. Rates from Shanghai to Genoa also rose by 11%, reaching $4,776 per FEU.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, Drewry expects ex-China freight rates to continue rising due to increased demand, tight capacity, and the need to reposition empty containers.


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Source: Seatrade Maritime