Indian Transport & Logistics

Slowdown to continue post-LNY, says Freightos

Prices to U.S. East Coast fall on easing demand and congestion; rate of decline slows in December

Slowdown to continue post-LNY, says Freightos

Asia-U.S. West Coast prices dropped 3 percent to $1,377/FEU, according to the latest update from Freightos. This rate is 91 percent lower than the same time last year.

"Asia-U.S. East Coast prices fell 10 percent to $2,924/FEU, and are 82 percent lower than rates for this week last year. Asia-N. Europe prices increased 11 percent to $2,405/FEU, and are 83 percent lower than rates for this week last year."

Slowing volumes have led Asia-U.S. West Coast rates to stabilise at 2019 levels for about a month now, the update added. Prices to the East Coast have continued to fall on easing demand and congestion and though the rate of the decline has slowed in December, the current price is just 12 percent above 2019 levels.

Carriers are expected to blank about 50 percent of all scheduled sailings from Asia to the U.S. and Europe after the Lunar New Year (LNY) holiday – which runs from late January to early February – suggesting they anticipate the slowdown to continue through the typical post-LNY lull months until inventories run down and demand picks up some time in Q2 at the earliest or possibly not until next year's peak season, Freightos said.

"Another sign of sagging demand is the unusual move among some Asian manufacturers to close for the holiday as early as the second week of January. Easing Covid restrictions in China are also contributing to more workers out sick, while other protocols will reduce barge and trucking capacity earlier in the month too, which may also be driving the earlier start to the holiday."

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