DREWRY Supply Chain Advisors’ World Container Index has the bad and the good news this week, depending on your perspective.

While the composite index decreased by 4% to US$3,162 per 40ft container this week, it is nevertheless 77% higher when compared with the same week last year.    

The latest Drewry WCI composite index of $3,162 per 40ft container is 123% more than average 2019 (pre-pandemic) rates of $1,420.

Source: Drewry

The average composite index for the year-to-date is $3,493 per 40ft container, which is $794 higher than the 10-year average rate of $2,699 (which was inflated by the exceptional 2020-22 COVID period).

Freight rates from Shanghai to Rotterdam and Shanghai to Genoa decreased 5% to $3,473 and $4,223 per 40ft box. Similarly, freight rates from Shanghai to Los Angeles dropped 4% or $190 to $4,082 per feu respectively, followed by rates on Rotterdam to Shanghai which reduced 2% or $16 to $845 per 40ft container.

Likewise, rates on Los Angeles to Shanghai and Shanghai to New York declined 1% to $707 and $5,411 per feu respectively, while rates on Rotterdam to New York increased 2% or $50 to $2,242 per 40ft container.

Similarly, freight rates from New York to Rotterdam grew 3% or $20 to $644 per 40ft box. Drewry expects spot rates ex-China to continue declining in the coming weeks, whereas freight rates on transatlantic will remain stable.

Locally, lines report rates on the key China-Australia route have fallen suddenly and quite sharply, after maintaining recent levels through to and beyond Chinese New Year. There were said to be offers in the market ex China main ports for US650/TEU, down from $800/TEU, even though volumes have remained quite strong.

Sources suggested the drop-off is a a function of capacity returning to the market as services resume pro forma schedules following the settlement of the DPW/MUA dispute.