'With the holiday season logistical rush round the corner things may get worse before they get better, and that'll have an obvious knock-on effect on rates,' said Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund.
Mr Berglund said landside infrastructure in Europe was 'simply overwhelmed,' with the congestion tying up vessels and their sought-after containers, in an ever-growing cycle of delays.
Said Global Shippers' Forum (GSF) director James Hookham: 'Importers and exporters are facing a meltdown of the container shipping market, with rates in the stratosphere, slots up for auction, and service performance in the trash.
'The prospects for the coming peak season look grim,' said Mr Hookham, whose Container Shipping Market Review was released last week.
According to the Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI), European imports rose by 0.5 per cent in August, while exports climbed 3.4 per cent, leaving the respective benchmarks up 123 per cent and 49.1 per cent year on year.
Average Asia-North Europe rates valid for 30 days or less this week were at US$7,310 per TEU, an increase of 787 per cent over the same week in pre-pandemic 2019, Xeneta said. Average long-term contract rates of 90 days or more were up 226 per cent on 2019 at $2,434 per TEU.