Asia-Europe Container Freight Rates Have Fallen Off a Cliff

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ReutersCOPENHAGEN, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell by 26.7 percent to $469 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday, one source with access to data from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index told Reuters.

It was the third consecutive week of falling freight rates on the world’s busiest route and rates are now nearly 60 percent lower than three weeks ago.

Freight rates on the world’s busiest shipping route have tanked this year due to overcapacity in available vessels and sluggish demand in goods to be transported. Rates generally deemed profitable for shipping companies on the route are at about $800-$1,000 per TEU.

In the week to Friday, container freight rates dropped 32.1 percent from Asia to ports in the Mediterranean, fell 7.9 percent to ports on the U.S. West Coast and were down 9.9 percent to ports on the U.S. East Coast.

The world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk Line, plans to raise spot freight rates by $1,000 from ports in Asia to ports in northern Europe, with effect from Sep 1. Other major container shipping companies have similar plans. (Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen; editing by Sabina Zawadzki)

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