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Drewry box index slips as service contract talks begin

CONTAINER spot rates on main transpacific route fell 2.4 per cent last week, which is the first year-on-year decline since January 2010, reports Drewry Shipping Consultants.

Drewry box index slips as service contract talks begin
17 February 2011 - 22:07
CONTAINER spot rates on main transpacific route fell 2.4 per cent last week, which is the first year-on-year decline since January 2010, reports Drewry Shipping Consultants.

Drewry's weekly container rating showed shippers facing US$1,964 rates for Hong Kong to Los Angeles FEUs for the week ending February 14, down from $2,012 a year earlier.

The decline comes as transpacific rate talks get underway before service contracts lapse. Shippers make much of news of overcapacity flooding the market and tales of fragile economies in Europe and America, but carriers counter with a raft of positive growth forecasts - from seven to 14 per cent - heralding robust volumes in months to come, arguing that extra capacity is being absorbed by slow steaming and reminding all that bunker prices are sky high.

The Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement (TSA) the quasi conference of big eastbound carriers, sees and seven to eight per cent more volume this year, a view mirrored recently by London ship brokers Clarkson that sees 9.5 per cent and Alphaliner that expects 14 per cent.

But one recalls that last year's spot rates declined in March before rising fast as the peak season approached.
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