Report: Shippers believe ocean rates firming
Shippers believe ocean freight rates are firming, according to a recent report from Bear Stearns.
A survey by the investment banking house found “shipper sentiment with respect to expected ocean container ship increases reverses itself relative to the first quarter, with more shippers expecting year-over-year increases and fewer shippers expecting either flat rates or a year-over-year decrease.”
“Approximately 51 percent of our shipper respondents expect some sort of ocean container ship rate increase, which is up dramatically from 36 percent when we asked the same question in first quarter 2006,” the report said. “Of the shippers who expect an increase, the majority expect an increase of less than 5 percent.”
The report said that may initially benefit international freight forwarders more than general shippers. Bear Stearns cites Clarkson Research Services analysis that shows ocean container pricing “has recently inflected and is now down year over year for the second quarter in a row, the first time in several years this has occurred.”