Container shipping rates extended losses for 14 consecutive weeks and plunged to the lowest of the year, putting an end to the industry’s virus-led boom and heyday for sea flag carrier HMM.
The comprehensive index of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), widely cited metric on market freight quotations, fell 249.47 points to 2,312.65 as of Sept. 16 against a week ago, according to industry sources on Monday. It is the lowest level since the beginning of this year, losing 35 percent from a month earlier.
The last time the SCFI retreated to the 2,300 level was December 11, 2020.
Container freight rates from Asia to the U.S. west coast slid to $3,050 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU), down $434 from the previous week. Compared to the peak at $8,117 in February, the rate lost over 60 percent in less than six months.
Rates to the U.S. east coast also declined to the lowest $7,176 per FEU of the year, down $591 during the period. Shipping rates to Europe dropped $332 on week to $3,545 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU).
Industry experts say container rates are undergoing correction after the unprecedented shipping boom under the virus pandemic amid easing in supply bottleneck and weakening in the Korean won.
Shares of HMM were at 20,150 won, off 2.2 percent Monday midday from previous closing and 61 percent from their peak of 51,100 won in May last year.