Freight News, Logistics News, Shipping News

Maritime cargo costs continue to soar

The continued global volatility around shipping routes is causing maritime freight rates to continue to soar

The prices of containerised shipping cargo continue to skyrocket, with Container Xchange’s June market update revealing the average container price has risen 112 per cent in China.

Prices are reported as being approximately $3600 for a 40ft high cube cargo container, an increase on the $1700 listing in March/April.

Repeat attacks by the Houthi rebel group in Yemen have been cited as a major reason for the large increases, with many ships now electing to forgo the Red Sea corridor in favour of a longer, less fuel-efficient route – often around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.

It was reported the Houthis claimed attacks on four ships in the Red, Arabian and Mediterranean Sea overnight just a few days ago, while strikes on merchant vessels are also reportedly becoming more frequent.

Average one-way pick-up prices have also tripled since November.

One of the largest reported average increases has come on the Shanghai to Hamburg route, where prices have increased from $500 in November last year to currently sit at $2030.

The average container price in China is now at its highest level since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Co-founder and CEO of Container Xchange Christian Roeloffs says buyers are starting to exercise caution when shipping freight by sea due to high prices.

“While prices and rates are significantly up, trading volumes have decreased as buyers are becoming more cautious,” Roeloffs says.

“This trend potentially indicates a potential reversal of prices in the near future, as the market adjusts to the current disruptions and high levels of volatility.

“Container shipping companies should prepare for potential shifts in trade patterns by diversifying their routes and enhancing logistics capabilities in other growing markets, such as South East Asia and South America.

“Investing in technology and infrastructure to improve efficiency and reduce costs will be critical in navigating the potential market volatility and maintaining competitiveness.”

To view Container Xchange’s full June market update, click here.

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