Cargo volumes moving from North America to North Europe picked up in the first quarter, but are “unsustainable due to the austerity measures being taken by most European governments,” according to an article in the current edition of Drewry’s Container Insight Weekly
Drewry said exports from North America to North Europe improved significantly in the first quarter, with “average monthly cargo flow reaching 176,000 TEUs, up by 14 percent compared to the previous quarter, or 5 percent compared to the same quarter last year.”
It called the increase “surprising, given that large parts of Europe still remain in a triple-dip recession, or on the border of it, such as the U.K.”
Drewry said all-in freight rates quoted to
forwarders for spot cargo from New York to Rotterdam continue to
oscillate around $1,150 per 40 foot container, with May’s average being $1,110
per 40-foot container.
In the other direction, the London-based consultant said “exports from North Europe to North America continue to disappoint,” falling from an average of 220,000 TEUs per month in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 203,000 TEUs in the first quarter.”
It said freight rates quoted to forwarders for spot cargo from Rotterdam to New York increased slightly in April and May. Compared to the first quarter of the year, the increase was up 3 percent to $1,690 per 40 foot container including terminal handling charges, as measured by Drewry’s own Container Freight Rate Insight.
“The only way for ocean carriers to improve matters now appears to be further rationalization of services, but the EU’s consortia regulations, which stipulate a maximum market share of 30 percent is an impediment," Drewry said. - Chris Dupin