Container Rates Continue to Skyrocket

The sharp upward increase in container freight rates appears to have no end in sight, much to the alarm of shippers.

Delays, congestion and container availability problems are increasing at ports and terminals, largely due to the continued impacts of COVID-19.

While premium charges on top of spot rates are now so high that index rates are no longer able to capture the true cost of ocean shipping, here are approximate rate jumps for the following regions:

Asia-East Coast

The Freightos Baltic Daily Index for Asia-East Coast surged by around 20% in just the past few days. As of June 10, the Freightos rate reached $9,317 per FEU, its highest point ever and up 224% year on year (y/y).

The Drewry weekly assessment for the Shanghai-New York route was $8,251 per FEU, up 9% week on week (w/w) and 203% y/y.

S&P Global Platts provides daily assessments of Freight All Kinds (FAK) rates. Its North Asia-East Coast FAK assessment, as of Thursday, was $6,800 per FEU, up 152% y/y.

Asia-West Coast

Freightos put Thursday’s Asia-West Coast spot rate at a record-high $6,341 per FEU, up 194% y/y. Drewry’s weekly Shanghai-Los Angeles index is at $6,313 per FEU, up 6% w/w and 199% y/y.

S&P Global Platts’ North Asia-West Coast North America FAK rate was $4,200 per FEU on Thursday, almost triple the FAK rate a year ago.

Asia-East Coast

Asia-East Coast rates have been rising faster than Asia-West Coast rates, according to Freightos’ data.

Freightos’ East Coast-West Coast spread — the premium importers pay to take the long route via the Panama Canal — hit $2,976 per FEU on Thursday, a record high. It has spiked in recent days.

Trans-Atlantic Westbound

Freightos’ Europe-East Coast assessment for Thursday was $5,193 per FEU, a new record and up 164% y/y. 

Underscoring how different indexes come up with different figures, Drewry’s number is much lower than Freightos’. Drewry put Rotterdam-New York rates at $3,988 per FEU, up 66% y/y.


Rates for U.S. exports out of the West Coast to Asia have also jumped, albeit off a far lower base. Freightos assessed rates on this route at $1,208 per FEU on Thursday, up 154% y/y.

Drewry’s weekly rate is lower: $808 per FEU, up 61% y/y.

(Source: American Shipper)