Spot container rates rise 11% in a week, now up 36% in a month to LA

Cargo at South Carolina PortsLondon – Spot container rates rose an average of 11.8% this past week to $1,761 per 40-foot container, marking a fourth consecutive weekly increase.

According to Drewry’s World Container Index tracking indicator, spot rates from Shanghai to Los Angeles rose 11% this week to $2,322. Last week, rates rose 6%, and the weeks before that, 10% and 9.2%. In four weeks, that’s about a 36% increase.

Like Los Angeles, spot rates from Shanghai to New York are also seeing weekly gains. They rose 9% this week to $3,330 per 40-foot container. Over the past four weeks, rates are up 26%.

Overall, rates are 73.4% lower than they were the same week last year and are down 83% from the peak of $10,377 seen in Sept. 2021. Rates remain 24% higher than the 2019 pre-pandemic average of $1,420. Before these past four weeks, rates had been steadily falling.

Drewry expects East-West spot rates to be “stable” in the next few weeks. Long term, it expects combined spot and contract rates to fall by a third in 2024.

“Weak demand, over-capacity, and predatory pricing by some carriers is the rationale behind our expectation for lower rates,” said Simon Heaney, Drewry’s senior manager of container research.

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