Ocean carriers’ tactic of shifting surplus capacity from east-west trades to north-south routes is nearing “saturation point,” according to Drewry Maritime Research.
The “endless” cascading of tonnage from the main haul trades to regional routes is now “seriously haemorrhaging” freight rates in north-south services, and the rate of decline in the second quarter suggests carriers are running out of options to soak up surplus capacity, the London-based consulting firm said.
All-in prices from Asia to Australia, West Africa, South Africa, India and both the east and west coasts of South America based on forwarder buy rates for spot cargo declined significantly during the second quarter. Rates from Asia to India and the west coast of South America rose in July, but Drewry said it “remains to be seen if the increases are sustainable, as there have been many false dawns in other trade lanes.”
The average all-in spot rate from Shanghai…
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