THE World Container Index (WCI), a composite of container freight rates on eight of the world's busiest routes to and from the US, Europe and Asia, decreased by two per cent last week to US$1,134 per 40 foot container (FEU), according to Drewry.
On a year-on-year basis the index fell 20 per cent, the data reveals.
Year-to-date the average composite index of the WCI stood at $1,466 per FEU, which is $128 less than the five-year average of $1,595 per FEU, Drewry said.
Freight rates on the Asia-Europe and transpacific routes softened last week, as the slack winter season is gripping the major east-west trades. The WCI assessed by Drewry on the Shanghai-Rotterdam route was $31 lower than the previous week at $1,376 per FEU. Compared to the same period in 2016 rates are down 19 per cent.
Rates between Shanghai and Los Angeles declined by $20 per FEU and rates between Shanghai and New York dropped by $13 to $1,867 per FEU. Rates on the Shanghai-Los Angeles and Shanghai-New York routes are down 27 per cent and 25 per cent year on year, respectively, according to Drewry.
"We expect the mid-December GRIs (general rate increases) to be deferred in the wake of soft demand," commented Drewry.