The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), an indicator for spot rates for container exports from Shanghai, remains 31.8% higher than it was in the pre-pandemic year of 2019 despite a worsening supply-demand balance , according to BIMCO. It suggests that shipping companies are more successfully maintaining freight rates at high levels now.

The SCFI and the China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI), an indicator for freight rates for shipments moved on medium- and long-term contracts, have dropped 81% and 72% since January 2022, respectively. Freight movement from the Far East fell 8.5% year on year in the first quarter (January-March), indicating the supply-demand balance has been worse.

In January-March, freight movement was 2.1% higher than the corresponding months of 2019. Shipments to the Far East went up 0.6%; to Europe, down 4.5%; and to North America, up 2.6%. In May, however, the SCFI was 31.8% higher on average than it was in the same month of 2019. Except for the U.S., Australia and New Zealand and Lagos, spot rates to all destination were, however, more than 10% higher in May 2023 than in May 2019. To the Mediterranean, Santos, Dubai and Durban, they are approximately double of what they were in May 2019.




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