The average price to ship an FEU from Shanghai to Los Angeles reached $10,503, up 5.5 per cent from the prior week. Spot rates on the trade were below $3,000 per FEU a year ago and under $1,500 in 2019.
Asia rates to the US east coast also hit new highs this week, with the average rate to ship an FEU from Shanghai to New York surging 13.1 per cent to $13,434. Previously, shipping an FEU cost under $3,400 a year ago and below $2,800 two years ago.
It typically costs shippers an additional $2,000 to $7,000 per FEU just to guarantee space on a vessel.
Container lines are levying charges ranging from $350 to $5,000 on Asia imports starting as early as August.
Veteran forwarders declared they are preparing their customers for even higher rate pressure as traditional peak-season volumes build.
Retailers project year-on-year increases in US imports of 9.4 per cent in August and 2.5 per cent in September. Retailers project a decrease of 3.7 per cent in US imports in October and a two per cent decline in November.
Actual volumes of US imports from Asia have rocketed 38 per cent year on year in the first half of 2021 and 24.5 per cent from the first six months of pre-Covid crisis 2019.