- North Asia-to-South America rates fall as demand wanes after Christmas
- Carriers withdraw planned GRIs for US exports as services are diminished
Container shipping rates from North Asia to North America were stable this week as sluggish demand ahead of the Lunar New Year period limited further upside, but rates to and from South America dropped as more available space on ships opened up.
Rates from China to Brazil dropped $500 to $11,500/FEU as bookings were reduced in the post-Christmas period and importers looked ahead to a lull in demand in the southern autumn period. Rates from China to Chile fell by the same margin to $13,500/FEU this week.
Export rates from South America-to-Asia similarly tapered off as shipping lines were more willing to accept backhaul cargoes. Rates from the West Coast of the continent dipped by $600 to $1,000/FEU, while rates from East Coast South America-to-North Asia dropped by $300 to $2,300/FEU.
“We can feel more comfortable when placing orders from Asia now. The waiting time is only two to four weeks to ship,” a freight forwarder based in Chile said. “On the other hand, shipping to or from the US has been a nightmare.”
The Port of Los Angeles confirmed this week that they set a Western Hemisphere record for container volumes handled in 2021 above 10.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units, while the neighboring Port of Long Beach also had its best year with 9.38 million TEUs handled. But the queue of ships waiting to berth at the dual Southern California ports remained above 100 vessels Jan. 20, indicating that the onslaught of US imports volumes was far from over.
“You can’t even tell a client what time they will get a delivery,” a US-based freight forwarder said. “Supply-chain issues will become even more visible in the US. The stuff that you see on shelves today was probably shipped from Asia back in October.”
Most shipping lines withdrew $100-200/FEU General Rates Increases on US export cargoes planned for Jan. 15 as available services were stretched thin. Rates from East Coast North America to North Asia were stable at $1,100/FEU, while rates from the West Coast to Asia held steady at $1,000/FEU.
Rate assessments from the East Coast of North America to Northern Europe were unchanged this week at $500/FEU.