April 12, 2021
Container Shipping Will Likely Stay High Through 2021
Importers are locking in container shipping rates that are as much as 50% higher than a year ago to avoid the volatile and even steeper prices in the spot market, tightening the squeeze on margins and heightening concerns about inflation across the world economy.
Contract rates for Asia to North American routes in recent weeks are coming in around $2,500 to $3,000 for a 40-foot container — 25% to 50% higher than a year ago, according to George Griffiths, an editor on the global container freight-pricing team at S&P Global Platts.
Container rates may stay elevated through the second quarter and maybe into the third, Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said last week. Capacity is still stretched and “I don’t see any signs around the corner than demand is falling off a cliff,” he said.