Freight rates from/to China slide down the slippery slope

Containerized freight rates to/from China are down nearly across the board, says to the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. Graphic: Shutterstock

Down, down, down – freight rates are down, nearly across the board, on export and import routes to and from China, according to indices published by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange.

The China (Export) Containerized Freight Index (CCFI) composite index fell by 2.3 percent from 850.47 index points down to 830.49 index points, according to the Exchange. And the mean average decline across all falling routes (two did not fall) was 2.9 percent.

The biggest fall was recorded on the China-U.S. West Coast route, which fell from 705.95 index points to 663.91 points, a fall of 6 percent. There were other big declines as well. China-U.S. East Coast, China-Australia New Zealand and China-South America all fell in the range of 4.2 percent to 4.5 percent.

China-Korea and China-South Africa stood at 586.01 index points and 608.81 index points, which were down by 2.6 percent and 2.2 percent respectively. And the routes China to South East Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean were down in a range between 1.9 percent to 1.2 percent respectively.

The two routes that did not fall and were China-Persian Gulf/Red Sea and China-West/East Africa. They gained by 2.6 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.

The CCFI is indexed to January 1, 1998 at 1,000 index points. It looks at rates on 12 routes to various points in the world from the 10 Chinese ports of Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Xiamen. At the time of writing, 22 box ship operators provide data.

China-route containerized import freight rates

Turning to imports, the containerized freight rates to China index (CICFI) declined marginally by 1.2 percent in the last reporting  period, from 835.73 index points to 826.01 points.

The biggest decline, although only marginally so, was Europe-China which declined 2.1 percent to stand at 807.43 index points as of mid-last week. The next biggest decline was the Mediterranean-China service, which fell by 1.9 percent to stand at 953.92 points. There was also a marginal decline of 1.2 percent on the ANZ-China route, from 595.75 to 588.55 index points last week. Freight rates on the U.S-China routes were essentially flat. U.S.East Coast-China declined slightly from 640.93 to 637.01, a decline of 0.6 percent.

The CICFI is indexed to late November 2014 with a base of 1,000 index points. The index takes into account five routes from around the world. The routes start in various parts of the world: Europe, Mediterranean, U.S. West Coast (USWC), U.S. East Coast (USEC) and Australia New Zealand. The destination ports are the main box ports in China – Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Xiamen. Data is provided by 11 ocean carriers.

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Jim Wilson, Australia Correspondent

Sydney-based journalist and photojournalist, Jim Wilson, is the Australia Correspondent for FreightWaves. Since beginning his journalism career in 2000, Jim has primarily worked as a business reporter, editor, and manager for maritime publications in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. He has won several awards for logistics-related journalism and has had photography published in the global maritime press. Jim has also run publications focused on human resources management, workplace health and safety, venture capital, and law. He holds a degree in law and legal practice.

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