The aftermath of the stranding of a giant freighter that caused the Suez Canal to be suspended for nearly a week in March has not subsided, and cargo has been stranded in ports in Europe, America and Asia. The freight of container ships has risen by 10% since the end of March, a record high.
According to the real-time contract price released by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange of China, the 40 foot standard container freight rate of the US West Route reached 4189 US dollars, and that of the US east route was as high as US $5452, both of which were more than 10% higher than the end of March, which was the highest value since the statistics were available in 2009.
European routes also increased prices by more than 10% to $4187 per 20 foot TEU. At present, there are about 100 freighters waiting to enter Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe. Charlotte cook, an analyst with the British shipping price assessment company, said: "the closure of the Suez Canal has led to a large number of vessels arriving at the port at the same time, and serious chaos may continue into May."
At the same time that the shortage of labor force in American ports led to the shortage of cargo handling capacity, the Suez Canal was cut off again. More than 400 trapped cargo ships are heading for ports around the world at the same time, exacerbating the chaos.
Maersk, the world's largest container shipping group, suspended a large number of spot bookings and short-term contract deliveries on March 31 to avoid confusion caused by the grounding accident. At present, some routes are still unable to book.
The surge in cargo also led to high freight rates, and shipping companies began to invest in new ships. However, the new ship orders will take two to three years before delivery, which can not alleviate the current demand tension.
▍ more ships are scheduled for Asia Nordic routes
Asian exporters will face weeks of delays in shipping at any price, but some shipping companies are increasing capacity and adding additional container ships to meet demand.
Since August last year, HMM, a member of the alliance alone, has deployed more than 20 ships for "extra loading" services, including 12 ships for Asia US West Coast route, 3 ships for Asia US east coast route, 3 ships for Korea Russia route, 1 ship for Asia North Europe route and 1 ship for Korea Vietnam route.
In addition, HMM launched a new Asia Europe extra loading ship service, 4600 TEU The "Hmm goodwill" will depart from Busan on April 26 for Rotterdam and Hamburg, which are expected to arrive on May 27 and May 30, respectively. The ship, which will be filled with chemicals, steel, machinery, auto parts and household appliances, is scheduled to pass through the Suez Canal in mid May.
Meanwhile, 16000 TEUs were allocated to Asia Nordic routes in March Both HMM Nuri and HMM gaon exceeded their nominal capacity of 13300teu, carrying 13438teu and 13502teu respectively.
In addition, the 12 24000teu new vessels received by HMM last year have been deployed to the Asia North Europe route and have been fully loaded for 32 consecutive voyages.
▍ new players are coming in
However, some shipping companies are keen to "limit" the capacity of additional loaders, preferring to be more cautious about supply and demand rather than focusing on restoring network capacity after the Suez Canal was disrupted.
For a large number of goods on the spot market, the freight rate is at least five times higher than a year ago, which guarantees the navigation profit of independent service. Even for Panamax and smaller Panamax ships, this was not possible a year ago.
In the lucrative Asian Nordic market, shipping companies provide very limited cargo space to shippers, but the price per 40 foot container can reach as high as 14000 US dollars. China Shipping Company Zoomlion is the latest participant in this market.
Last week, the company received a round-trip service from two small vessels from China to northern Europe, and appears to be supported by xstaff, an international purchasing association based in Dusseldorf.
In February this year, Cu lines made its first Nordic voyage. It is understood that Cu lines is actively promoting further voyages from China to northern Europe in May and June, and has obtained basic cargo support from xstaff and other carriers.
At the same time, freight companies such as DSV and Geodis have identified one-time charters from Asia to northern Europe to mitigate the impact of capacity constraints on routes, while warning major carriers to ensure that they comply with the contract.
However, there are few open ships in Asia now, so the DIY option of large freight companies has been suspended.
In contrast, Cu lines can enter the domestic fleet leasing market in China, which is rarely seen in the view of traditional container ship brokers so far.
In addition to the Cu lines, a lot of freight and high freight rates will certainly attract new players into the liner market as long as they can find open vessels and containers.
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