Executive Briefings

Container Shipping Market Is Unpredictable, But Prices Are Climbing, Xeneta Reports

An in-depth analysis of Q3 container shipping costs revealed positive trends for the container carrier segment, according to Xeneta, a market intelligence company for containerized ocean freight. However, the market remains unpredictable, with the 'Hanjin Effect' ebbing away, Xeneta says.

Xeneta crowd sources shipping data from more than 600 major international businesses, covering more than 60,000 port-to-port pairings and over 17 million contracted rates. The recent collapse of Hanjin laid the foundations for a trading period like no other, the company says.

“It was certainly a stand-out quarter,” said Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund. “Short-term rates on the world’s number one trade route — Far East Asia to North American main ports — sky-rocketed, largely due to Hanjin transforming oversupply to undersupply almost overnight. This enabled significant rate hikes, with the market average price for 40’ containers climbing by 47 percent across Q3, starting at $1,240 and ending on $1,826.”

"However, looking at today's data we can already see that prices are trending down somewhat, meaning the Hanjin Effect is history," Berglund added. "There is clearly still an issue of structural overcapacity, albeit more balanced now, and that pushes prices down - with risks for both the carriers and BCOs/shippers. Short term rates on the number two route - Far East Asia to North Europe - actually fell by 24 percent in Q3."

On the plus side for carriers, Berglund said that reported market low rates have risen spectacularly since Q1, climbing by 258 percent from the end of that quarter to the beginning of Q4. That curve stabilized in Q3, but remains on an upward trajectory.

Source: Xeneta

Xeneta crowd sources shipping data from more than 600 major international businesses, covering more than 60,000 port-to-port pairings and over 17 million contracted rates. The recent collapse of Hanjin laid the foundations for a trading period like no other, the company says.

“It was certainly a stand-out quarter,” said Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund. “Short-term rates on the world’s number one trade route — Far East Asia to North American main ports — sky-rocketed, largely due to Hanjin transforming oversupply to undersupply almost overnight. This enabled significant rate hikes, with the market average price for 40’ containers climbing by 47 percent across Q3, starting at $1,240 and ending on $1,826.”

"However, looking at today's data we can already see that prices are trending down somewhat, meaning the Hanjin Effect is history," Berglund added. "There is clearly still an issue of structural overcapacity, albeit more balanced now, and that pushes prices down - with risks for both the carriers and BCOs/shippers. Short term rates on the number two route - Far East Asia to North Europe - actually fell by 24 percent in Q3."

On the plus side for carriers, Berglund said that reported market low rates have risen spectacularly since Q1, climbing by 258 percent from the end of that quarter to the beginning of Q4. That curve stabilized in Q3, but remains on an upward trajectory.

Source: Xeneta