Posted on January 8, 2024
Global shipping news

Weekly Shipping & Logistics News Wrap, Week 2

Top Highlights 

  • Carriers deploy smaller vessel on Asia-Med route.  
  • World Container Index up by 61% WoW.
  • West coast shipping rates rise.  
  • Transpacific shipping rates climb amid liner challenges. 
  • Positive outlook for capesizes in 2024. 

Let’s look at the above shipping and logistics news in more detail: 

Red Sea Shipping Threat Unchanged, Carriers Adapt with Unusual Vessel Deployments  

The shipping and logistics industry continues to grapple with persistent threats in the Red Sea area, prompting carriers like Hapag-Lloyd to deploy unusual vessels such as the 3400 TEU Zhong Gu Shan Dong. This smaller vessel, not typically used by major carriers on the Asia-Med route, mirrors the market’s pressure and high freight rates.  

World Container Index Reports 61% Increase in Freight Rates  

Drewry’s World Container Index reveals that shipping rates for a 40ft container jumped 61% to $2,670 last week, 25% higher than the same time last year. The rates are also 88% above the pre-pandemic levels. Significant increases were noted on key routes, with both Shanghai to Rotterdam and Shanghai to Genoa rates soaring by 115% and 114% on WoW basis, respectively. 

West Coast Shipping Rates Surge  

In more shipping and logistics latest news, the fallout from the Red Sea crisis is resonating globally, particularly affecting shipping rates for cargo from Asia to the U.S. West Coast. The situation, exacerbated by drought-related restrictions in the Panama Canal, has made the Asia-West Coast route increasingly preferable, despite longer journey times for East and Gulf Coast ports. 

Transpacific Rates Set to Escalate  

The ongoing Red Sea crisis is set to further impact the shipping and logistics industry, with potential spikes in transpacific container rates looming. If the Red Sea crisis persists, transpacific container rates may reach peaks unseen since early 2022. In anticipation of the Chinese New Year on February 11, Asia-Europe ocean carriers have set new FAK rates at $6,000 per 40ft or higher, with expectations of these increased rates affecting other trade lanes soon. 

Capesizes Start Strong in 2024  

The dry bulk market, particularly in the capsize sector, experienced a mix of activity and challenges. Initially optimistic due to active miners in the Pacific, the market faced uncertainty following a derailment in Western Australia. The Atlantic market also struggled with vessel availability and price discrepancies. However, positive trends emerged, indicated by a slight uptick in rates and stronger fixtures, signalling a resilient market despite the hurdles. 

House of Shipping Insight 

As we navigate choppy waters at the start of 2024, the shipping and logistics industry is demonstrating both grit and agility. Unrelenting risks in the Red Sea are causing ripples across global trade routes, with transit times stretching and vessel deployment strategies shifting. While the World Container Index reflects the economic sting of these disruptions, even West Coast rates are feeling the heat, a testament to the interconnectedness of our networks.  

While this echoes the turbulence of the pandemic era, a silver lining lies in the dry bulk market’s resilience, showcasing the industry’s capacity to adapt to both global and regional dynamics. In this complex dance of challenges and opportunities, the shipping and logistics industry must keep focus on ensuring the smooth flow of commerce and delivering stability to a world in flux. 

Weekly Shipping & Logistics News Wrap, Week 2

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