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Box rates reverse downward trend as trade surges: Xeneta


INCREASING US exports and European imports has reversed the downward trend in rates for the container shipping industry, according to the latest XSI Public Indices report from Xeneta.

The Oslo-based freight rate benchmarking and market intelligence platform has reveals that its index, which utilises a database of over 85 million contracted freight rates, indicates a month-on-month rise in long-term rates of 2.5 per cent.

Although relatively modest, the climb halts a decline that has effectively been on going since August 2018.

XSI is based on constantly updated crowd-sourced rates pooled from hundreds of leading global players, including shippers such as Electrolux, Nestle, Unilever, Tata Steel and Continental.

February's report, notes Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund, makes for interesting reading.

"Against the backdrop of mixed financial results for the major carriers - with the ONE alliance all posting negative figures, while Maersk recorded solid profits and concerns about new tariffs in the China-US 'trade war', this upwards trend provides somewhat positive news for the container industry," said Mr Berglund.

The US export indicator in XSI experienced an 8 per cent rise. As such the declines of the previous year have been reversed, with the benchmark now on par with March 2018 values. Imports remained largely unchanged, down just 0.1 per cent.

The European market is similarly dynamic. Here the import benchmark climbed by 3.9 per cent, translating to a year-on-year rate increase of 7.1 per cent, and a 2.5 per cent rise since the end of 2018.

But Mr Berglund warned that the introduction of Ocean Alliance's seventh loop service in April with ten 13,00 - 14,000 TEU ships from Evergreen has the potential to outstrip demand and exert downward rates pressure.

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