The latest reading of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index shows that spot rates on the Asia-Europe and Mediterranean trades have dropped by more than 20% as a result of a so-called slack season, which shortly follows the Chinese New Year, according to the Journal of Commerce.
After a difficult beginning to the year with a severe slump in the bulk market, the container trade is also facing difficulty.
This has led commodity and futures options broker Freight Investor Services to state that: “The EU Commission states that it would like to see the container shipping industry develop pricing tools that are modern, conducive to competition and consumer friendly.
“Although a step in the right direction, it’s hard to see how this latest proposal will truly change the market.”
Port Technology previously reported that monthly spot rate volatility had exceeded 40% in 2015, in comparison to 2014, highlighting that shipping had reached a tipping point, as a result of overcapacity and weak demand.
This follows news that spot rates along the Asia-North Europe trade had trebled by more than 300% to $988 per TEU in Q4, 2015.