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Soaring container ship rates threaten global economic outlook?

Soaring container ship rates threaten global economic outlook?

Column:Industry News    Date:2021/1/27 8:34:49    Viewed:

Entering 2021, the imbalance between supply and demand in the container market remains unresolved, and the high container rates are developing into a major threat to the global economic outlook this year.

Lack of containers is difficult to alleviate, and freight rates of all routes remain high

Influenced by the epidemic and the peak of shipments before the Chinese New Year, the European line, North American line cargo volume remains high, port congestion, coupled with the lack of boxes resulting in container turnover is not easy, the imbalance between supply and demand in the container shipping market has not been effectively alleviated. The global freight rates of all routes are maintained at a high level.

Recently, due to port congestion caused by the epidemic, the average space utilization rate of container ships in Shanghai port to Europe line continued to be full, most of the ships maintained the original tariff, and only the spot market booking price fell slightly. According to the statistics of Shanghai Shipping Exchange, the market rate of Shanghai export to Europe basic port (sea freight and sea freight surcharge) was 4413 USD/TEU on January 15, down 0.9% compared with the previous period; the market rate of Shanghai export to Mediterranean basic port (sea freight and sea freight surcharge) was 4296 USD/TEU, which was the same as the previous period.

North America line in the container transport also still exist bottlenecks, Shanghai port to the U.S. East, U.S. West route ship average space utilization rate nearly full, the route tariff stability, the spot market booking price rose slightly. January 15 Shanghai exports to the U.S. West, the U.S. East basic port market tariff (sea and sea freight surcharge) were 4054 U.S. dollars / FEU, 4800 U.S. dollars / FEU, the U.S. West route rose slightly by 0.9%, the U.S. East route rose 1.1%. The U.S. West route increased slightly by 0.9%, while the U.S. East route increased by 1.1%.

South American epidemic is serious, import demand is high, transportation demand is high, shipping companies are opening additional sailing to ease the phenomenon of capacity tension. The average space utilization of vessels in Shanghai port to South America route is above 95%, most of the schedules are fully loaded, some consolidation companies increase booking price, the spot market freight rate rose slightly. 15 January Shanghai export to South America basic port market freight rate (sea freight and sea freight surcharge) is 8907 USD/TEU, up 3.2% compared with the last period.

In Asia, Singapore and Malaysia Port Klang two major port terminal congestion is the most serious problem, many European line or is the Middle East line ships skip the two ports do not make a stop, freight forwarding companies therefore have to customers to Singapore or Port Klang goods by the neighboring Johor port and other in and out, estimated that the Southeast Asian line before the Chinese New Year holiday may rise is Singapore, Port Klang and Ho Chi Minh City.

At present, Europe and Southeast Asia routes have not yet raised prices news. But the U.S. line because of the obvious shortage of space, buy cabin fees remain high, the U.S. East line to buy cabin fees in mid-January to $ 4,000 / FEU, but so far there has been $ 6,000 / FEU to buy cabin fees, the U.S. West line to buy cabin fees reached $ 2,500. In addition, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach recently came out with news of hundreds of confirmed dock workers, and the multi-billion dollar logistics economy of the two ports may be seriously slowed down as a result, making the situation even less optimistic.

Container shipping costs have multiplied, and the global economy is threatened with far-reaching effects

Most industry participants believe that the imbalance between supply and demand in the container shipping market will continue at least until the first quarter of this year, San Francisco freight and customs brokerage company Flexport deputy general manager Nerijus Poskus estimated that the current global container gap reached 500,000, almost equivalent to 25 of the world's largest 20,000 box ship load, compared with last year, the pressure of rising shipping costs in this year, fear There is an increase in unabated.

Experts pointed out that it is expected that after the Spring Festival 1 to 3 months, a large number of empty containers in Europe and the United States in April and May will be shipped back one after another, the lack of boxes is expected to ease the problem, but the specific how is still difficult to assert. The follow-up can be judged by three signals, such as retail inventory, global ship quasi-class rate, and the latest container ship supply and demand situation, to determine the impact of the lack of boxes time. If the retail inventory level remains low, it indicates that the demand is still strong; if the ship schedule rate starts to move up from the low point, it means that the port congestion has been eased.

According to Alphaliner's latest estimate in December last year, global container handling volume growth this year is higher than last year, reaching 3.5%; capacity supply is up 3.9% annually, narrowing the gap between supply and demand figures, which shows that the oversupply phenomenon in the container shipping market has reversed in the past decade. Although this year looks like it will be a healthy year for supply and demand, but if the epidemic breaks out again, the market will be full of variables.

Although the global economy is still hit hard by the epidemic, the container shipping industry has seen the most powerful tide of price increases in its history, with demand outstripping supply intensifying the rise in container shipping prices. Comprehensive data show that the current European line and the Americas line and other popular routes of the collector freight prices have risen by several times, the Australian route has increased significantly by nearly 9 times, the European route also rose sharply by more than 5 times, even the Southeast Asia route collector freight prices also followed the climb, from the end of last year, a large increase of more than 4 times.

Some manufacturers confessed that they could not afford the current level of freight rates, and it is more difficult to pass on the extra costs brought by the soaring rates to customers. Should have been sent in the fourth quarter of last year, because of the lack of containers and no flag, so far can not ship, but the warehouse has been unable to accommodate the pile of goods, some European countries even if the price of 8,000 euros (about 63,000 yuan) can not find the available containers, which is the past decades have not seen the situation.

Obviously, the supply-demand imbalance caused by soaring freight prices, has been from the supply chain level to the operational level, companies are forced to reduce production, or increase inventory pressure, affecting cash flow, and even because of the reduction in orders and thus affect the demand side of the entire industry chain. Consumers and businesses must bear the increased cost of freight forwarding, which may have a longer impact on the economy than the "lack of containers" problem.

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