Seaborne spot prices in key east-west trade have remained near record highs
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Seaborne spot prices in key east-west trade have remained near record highs, reversing the normal pattern of annual declines that followed the Lunar New Year holiday. Overstocked cargo, crowded ports, equipment shortages and persistently high volumes are keeping prices high.
Since November 2020, the shipping capacity of China to North America, the Mediterranean, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia and other routes has been increasingly strained, enterprises have difficulty in booking space, and international freight prices have soared. Some routes have doubled in December alone.
By the end of 2020, the freight rates of Shanghai exports to the west and east basic ports of the United States have increased by 145.67% and 68.4% respectively compared with the beginning of 2020. The freight rates of Shanghai's exports to Europe and Mediterranean basic ports rose by 264.0% and 261.7% respectively compared with the beginning of the year, among which the increase in December alone was as high as 95.6% and 93.2% respectively. The freight rate of Shanghai exports to the basic port market of South America increased by 274.4% compared with the beginning of the year. In the last three weeks of December, the freight rate of market booking rose by 1000 USD/container almost every week.