Container shipping industry analyst Xeneta said that shippers on major trades are seeing falling spot rates and premiums, and getting capacity allocations is becoming easier.

Nevertheless, the environment for shippers is still demanding with freight rates still far above pre-pandemic levels, with congestion and delays prevalent on several trades. Global spending on shipping this year will be another record high, said Xeneta in its June 2022 Ocean Deep Dive report.

“On the world’s largest trade, namely intra-Asia, container volumes in the first four months of the year are up by 1.6 percent, which is a considerable slowdown on this trade compared to 9.1 percent growth in 2021. The interconnectedness of Far Eastern supply chains means that slowing volumes on this trade are evidence of the region’s slowdown in manufacturing and production,” the analyst observed. 

“On the long-term market, the average rate out of the Far East has continued to rise, up by USD600 per FEU since January on June 1, and fast closing in on the spot market, something that has already happened on several of the major global trades,” added Xeneta. “Of these top-six trades out of the Far East, four of them have average long-term rates above those on the spot market, split evenly between intra-regional and longer haul trades.”