Continued disruptions from southern China, adding to an already strained container supply chain, are leading to a record increase in Pacific freight rates, adding to a market where rates were already at high levels.
According to the daily FBX Baltic Container Index, the benchmark Asia to USEC rate was USD7598/FFE on Monday. This was only slightly below the records reached for a couple of days in mid-May. On Tuesday, the rate shot up to USD/FFE 8964, an increase of USD/FFE 1495 in a single day.
By way of comparison, the SCFI spot rate index (which is weekly rather than daily) has never recorded a weekly increase in trading of this magnitude in the 12 years it has measured rate movements.
The only development that comes close is in the first week of January 2016, when the rate rose $1,100 USD/FFE, but this was in a situation where the rate had been falling 70% for the previous 8 months and had thus lost almost $3,300 USD/FFE prior to the $1,100 USD/FFE increase.
The Asia-USWC trade saw an increase from Monday to Tuesday of 459 USD/FFE to a new historical benchmark level of 6181 USD/FFE.
And, of course, these are benchmark spot rates to which all sorts of gearing and surcharges would have to be added to get the cargo moving.