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  • Writer's pictureStephen Fodor

Trans-Pacific shipping rates just popped to new all-time high


December 30, 2020


(American Shipper) Is this the end of the mysterious trans-Pacific rate plateau? The good news for ocean carriers — and bad news for shippers — is that rates are rising yet again.

Base spot rates for container shipments from Asia to the U.S. West Coast had been curiously flat since late September. Rates kept to a narrow band at record-high levels of around $3,800-$3,900 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU).

The unnatural flatness of the rate trend line during a period when demand was not flat led to speculation that the trans-Pacific rate level was, in fact, not natural.

One theory is that liners declined to charge higher base spot rates after a meeting with Chinese regulators in mid-September. Actual rates continued to increase when including premium charges, with the static base rate meant to assuage regulators — or so the theory goes.

Whether that speculation is true or not, something appears to have budged. Over recent days, spot rates have headed higher.



Please contact us for further information or questions – info@tradelogicintl.com

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