The World Container Index (WCI), a composite of container freight rates on eight major routes to and from the U.S., Europe and Asia, fell 2 percent this week to $1,133.96 per 40 ft. container (FEU), according to the latest assessment by Drewry, the UK-based shipping consultancy said Dec. 14.
The composite index is down 2 percent this week and down 20 percent from the same period of 2016, statistics show.
So far this year, the average composite index of the WCI stands at $1,466 per FEU, $128 lower than the five-year average of $1,595 per FEU and 20 percent lower than at this point year ago, Drewry said.
Data show that rates on the Asia-Europe and transpacific routes softened this week, as the winter season gripped major east-west trades. The WCI on the Shanghai-Rotterdam route lost $31 from last week to reach $1,376 per FEU. Rates are 19 percent weaker than in the same period in 2016, according to Drewry.
Rates between Shanghai and Los Angeles shed $20 for a 40 ft. box and those between Shanghai and New York fell by $13 to reach $1,867 per FEU. Rates on the Shanghai-Los Angeles and Shanghai-New York routes are 27 percent and 25 percent weaker than at the same time year ago, respectively, according to Drewry.
“We expect the mid-December GRIs (general rate increases) to be deferred in the wake of soft demand,” the firm said in a statement.
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