Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe soared 37.2 percent to $339 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday, one source with access to data from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index told Reuters.
The rise in freight rates on the world’s busiest route came after major container shipping companies implemented earlier announced price hikes around April 1.
The average level this year is so far $411 per TEU, less than half the average of the same period last year when it stood at $920 per TEU.
The current level is widely seen as loss-making for container shipping companies like Danish Maersk Line, Switzerland-based MSC, French CMA CGM and German Hapag Lloyd .
In the week to Friday, container freight rates jumped 104.4 percent from Asia to ports in the Mediterranean, rose 23.3 percent to ports on the U.S. West Coast and were up 8.2 percent to ports on the U.S. East Coast.
Maersk Line, the global market leader with nearly 600 container vessels and part of Danish oil and shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk, was one of the few container shipping companies to make a profit last year.
The Danish shipping company controls around one fifth of all transported containers from Asia to Europe.