Container freight rates staged second consecutive rise in July and they rose to their highest level since March this year, show figures released this morning by Container Trade Statistics (CTS), the UK based consultancy.
The CTS Global Aggregated Price Index, which entails both spot and contract rates, rose two points to 77 in July. This was the second consecutive month of an increase as in June, the index had risen by one point to 75.
However, it remains well below the 81 to 87 point range that it held from the 87 point high January 2014 to February this year, when it ended at 81 points. Since then, the index had remained below the reading of 80 points.
Jacob Pedersen, senior analyst at Sydbank in Denmark, said on 31 August that the peak season is, once again, unlikely to emerge as strong, but the recent recovery in freight rates has been good news. It can also support general rate increases (GRI) announced for 1 September.
The rise in freight rates can be quite substantial as a result of the GRIs, but operators will find it difficult to sustain them. “Adjustments of capacity are taking place in alliances, but it is doubtful if these will be far reaching enough,” Pedersen said in a monthly report on the shipping markets, adding that the higher earnings levels can reduce lay ups of tonnage.