The composite Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which reflects spot rates for container exports from Shanghai that do not include terminal handling charges (THCs), stood at 3,562.67 points in Week 32, which went down 4.7% from the previous week, according to the Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE). Remaining on a downward trend for the ninth week in a row, the index has plunged a total of some 30% since the beginning of the year. Inflationary pressures around the world and interest rate hikes mainly in the U.S. and Europe are increasing global economic uncertainties, which are exercising a downward pressure on freight rates, which, as a result, fluctuated bearishly.

On the trade route to North America, spot rates continued to fall in the middle of the peak season. Consumers' purchasing power is on the decline due to changes in economic conditions, having an adverse impact on transport demand. Rates for containers to the west coast, therefore, amounted to $6,153 per FEU, down 3.7%, and to the east coast, $9,106 per FEU, down 5.3%. In Europe, port congestion persists owing to dockworker strikes and summer vacations, lowering transport demand. Spot rates, as such, fell 3.8% to $4,971 per TEU, having stayed on the decline for 11 consecutive weeks and fallen below the 5,000-per-TEU line for the first time since May 2021. Spot rates were weak on the route to the Mediterranean, too, dipping 3.7% to $5,633 per TEU.




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