According to the South China Morning Post, the container shipping rates from China to the U.S. have declined sharply due to weakening demand despite major ports having been disrupted by seasonal typhoons.
Last year, at the peak demand, container shipping fees increased over five times within a year. But this year, the situation is the opposite. As global demand weakens, shipping rates have been affected.
The Port of Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the two world’s biggest ports, have been suspended several times this year due to typhoons.
Normally, disruption at ports often increase the shipping rates, but it’s not the case for the time being. Xu, a Jiangsu-based shipping agent told SCMP that he sees no sign of peak season this year, saying “The overall shipping demand from customers is plummeting, the only exception is the new energy industry, which is still seeing strong exports, but the rest is not good.”
According to the Freightos Baltic Index, the spot rate for shipping a 40-foot container from Asia to the U.S west coast has dropped by 10% to $3,896 last week. The freight cost has plummeted by nearly 75% so far this year, the lowest level since May 2020.
In 2021, container shipping rates from China to the U.S skyrocketed. Reuters reported that the spot price per container from China to the U.S. east coast has surged more than 500% from a year earlier, to $20,804 during the first week of August 2021.
This is different from what an expert said in June, predicting that the soaring container shipping cost will remain high at least by the first quarter of 2023 because of global port congestion.