Far East situation and Freight rates in general

on 15 October 2021

Well, the current situation is as bad (if not worse) since the problems first arose tail end of 2020. Come mid-March this year it did look as though things were improving and the ocean rates were falling, albeit very slowly.

None the less, we were seeing slightly improved rates. Then came the Evergreen Marine Corporation vessel ’Ever Given’’ that ran aground in the Suez Canal in late March, blocking the entire width meaning no other ocean carrier could navigate the canal from either end. Ocean vessels sat idle in the Gulf of Suez, Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, unable to continue their journey in to European waters (Mediterranean) and onward port destinations for something like two weeks.

The knock on effect meant that now there became massive delays at Asian ports because there is a plethora of cargos to be shipped to the rest of the world and no vessels available to load it on. There comes a scramble for space on what vessel capacity there is meaning a massive hike in the freight rates. We have even witnessed bookings being rejected, or rolled over two or even three vessels. Very frustrating. I very much regret to inform you that current rate indications of $8000 to $9000 for a 20’ and $14500 to $15000 for a 40’ are currently being offered. Crazy! Will it ever improve? Without wishing to blaspheme but god only knows. This is when a crystal ball would be extremely useful!