If we take a look at the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, we are able to notice that it is in critical condition.
Year of 2013 ended with surge of slightly over than sixty percent on SCFI spot rates for the shipping going from Asia to Northern Europe with a rate of about $1,600 per teu, which is a hundred and eighty dollars more in the comparison to the same period of the previous year.
After all, some sluggish recovery is noticeable in Europe. Now, if we closer review statistics, SCFI says something different – noticeable volatility, non comparable to other industries, especially one where billions and billions of USD are invested. Shareholders are slowly leaving this sinking ship and transferring money to some other industries that produce higher profit, which can further impact steamship lines and ocean freight industry.
First few months of 2013 were remembered as the time of a little rates war, that usually comes right after Chinese New Year sluggishness, known as the part of the year when rates were under $1,000 per teu by the end of February.
Dropping stopped in the middle of March and container shipping rates went back up to the level of about $1,400 per teu.
The year of 2013 will also be remembered as the one when DHL named Maersk Line as the carrier of the year. They took many things in consideration, such as: customer service quality, responsiveness, competitiveness as well as reliability.
Looking at the freight shipment volumes overall, we can notice five three-year lows during 2013 while number of workers leaving labor pool has reached almost historic highs.
Will this year be any better for steamship lines? The only thing is to wait and see.