Analysis of spot rates on the two key east-west trades shows that carriers will have to shelve capacity in the coming months, according to the maritime analyst SeaIntel.
After deducting the effect of rising bunker fees, SeaIntel found rates on the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trades are roughly analogous to levels during the 2009 global economic crisis, despite repeated attempts by carriers to hike base rates.
"We find that spot base rates from Asia to North Europe for the past two months have been lower than the base rate levels seen in the crisis year 2009, clearly illustrating the unsustainable market conditions in this trade presently," SeaIntel said. "For Asia to the U.S., we find that base rate levels have not yet fallen to the levels seen in 2009, although the level now is only $156 per TEU higher than the bottom in 2009."
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