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World Container Index Shows 114% Rise in Asia-to-Europe Box Rate

1st March 2012, London. Today's Shanghai-to-Rotterdam container freight rate assessment from the World Container Index (WCI), a joint venture between Drewry and The Cleartrade Exchange, shows that container freight rates in the westbound Asia-Europe corridor increased by 114% this week.

Carriers in the key Asia-Europe headhaul trade had previously announced General Rate Increases (GRIs) in the region of US$700 to $800 per teu (or US$1,400 to $1,600 per 40ft container) from 1st March.

The World Container Index's Shanghai-Rotterdam container freight rate sub-index went from $1,276 per 40ft container on 23 February to $2,732/40ft on 1 March, a rise of $1,456.

Philip Damas, director, at Drewry, said: "The World Container Index assessed by Drewry tracks freight rates very closely and promptly and answers the question which everybody has been asking: will the huge General Rate Increases of carriers be accepted by the market?"

Damas added: "However, we will need to see whether these rate increases will stay or erode over time. Our view is that there will be a reduction of spot rates next week, but container shipping lines have withdrawn enough capacity from the Asia-Europe trade to support some net rate increases over a fair period of time."

"Some opportunistic shippers and forwarders brought forward the time of shipments of their cargoes to avoid the March 1st GRI," Damas said.

The World Container Index is based on actual agreed freight assessments reported in the middle of every week by a number of industry players located in Asia, Europe and the US.  Today's World Container Index takes into account the rate changes due to take effect from March 1.

About The World Container Index (WCI)

The WCI is a 50-50 joint venture between research and consultancy specialist Drewry and Cleartrade Exchange, the leading electronic marketplace for OTC freight and commodity swaps. The WCI is a global index which can be used by physical and derivative market participants to manage freight risk. The index will report individual market prices on major East-West container shipping routes. Prices for 11 individual routes and a composite index are reported each week. These cover trade in both directions between Asia, North America and Europe.

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