DREWRY EXPECTS WEAK CONTAINER FREIGHT RATES UNTIL END OF 2003
Ocean carriers have little hope of seeing any meaningful improvement in freight rates for the foreseeable future, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants.
The London-based firm estimates the average weighted freight rate for the main east/west trades this year will be about $1,165 per TEU, down 8 percent from the average for 2001. Drewry predicts that the average weighted freight rate will drop again next year, to about $1,140 per TEU.
“Thereafter, a general improvement is expected in 2004 and 2005,” it said.
Drewry believes that freight rates will also be more volatile over the next two years.
It is known that carrier agreements and conferences have recently announced substantial increases in rates in the eastbound transpacific, westbound Asia-to-Europe and westbound Europe-to-U.S. liner trades. Until recently, however, shipping lines that publish data on container freight rates have reported an ongoing erosion of average freight rates.