Ocean container freight rates are surging on key Asia-Europe trade routes as traffic rebounds from a year-long downturn and carriers cull capacity.
Spot container rates from China to North Europe have risen by 68 per cent since October, according to a box shipping consultant.
The European Liner Affairs’ Association (ELAA) said its westbound price index rose to 90 in December from a low of 48 in March, while the eastbound index closed the year at 89.
Westbound traffic from Asia to Europe rose by 9.5 per cent in December from a year ago, taking volumes for the year to just over 11.5 million TEUs, down by 14.8 per cent from the 13.49 million TEUs carried in 2008, ELAA said in its latest market report.
Eastbound traffic increased by 46 per cent in December from a year ago to the highest monthly total in 2009 and higher than any monthly figure in 2008, the Brussels-based ocean carrier group said.
Eastbound traffic rose by 4.5 per cent in 2009 to 5.47 million TEUs from 5.23 million TEUs in the previous year driven by a year-on-year increase of over 30 per cent in the fourth quarter (October-December), Exim News Service informs.