23 January 2024
Freight News

Container Spot Rates Rocket Even Higher as Red Sea Crisis Drags On

The Drewry World Container Index (WCI) Global Composite jumped to $3,777 per forty-foot equivalent unit for the week ended Thursday. It’s now up 173% year to date.

With the exception of the COVID boom period in December 2020 through October 2022, this week’s global spot-rate reading is the highest on record since the WCI debuted in June 2011.

This was supposed to be a terrible year for container lines, courtesy of a tidal wave of newbuilding deliveries. According to Alphaliner, 2.3 million TEUs of new capacity were delivered last year, with an additional 3.2 million TEUs set to arrive in 2024.

But ocean shipping rates are acutely exposed to geopolitical events. The Houthi attacks, which have forced container ships to reroute en masse around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, changed the supply-demand equation. Linerlytica now predicts “windfall earnings for carriers in Q1 2024.”

Read more in an article from American Shipper.

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