Transportation & Logistics Analysis

Ocean freight rates slowed down in November

December 14 2021

Demand seems to be easing, leading to a decrease in ocean freight rates for containers in November and a gradual easing of congestion in port terminals.

Rising energy prices, higher retail prices and year-end end tax bills. These three factors seem to have begun to have an impact on consumption and to have helped to reduce overheating in the container shipping market in November by comparison with the preceding months.

However, the trend of the two preceding months was confirmed. There was an increase in average freight rates, which were consolidated through clever rate and capacity management on the part of the shipping companies.

Shipping companies consolidate average rate basket

At the start of autumn, FAK rates began to be singled out by commentators as a factor which was contributing to rising inflation. The shipping companies, which wanted to preserve their good reputation, allowed their highest rates to come down, therefore.

To keep average rates on a long-term upward trend nevertheless, they need to increase the number of long-term contracts they sign with their clients. This is currently the major problem facing the three big shipping alliances and the main issue in the annual contract negotiations taking place between the shipping companies and shippers.

At the same time, digitalisation of the shipping companies' marketing services is continuing to make ground, allowing them to increase their revenues week by week. The objective of the major shipping companies is clear. They want to be able to market 30% of cargo volumes loaded abord their ships by the end of 2022. The revolution is under way !


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Expert in Ocean shipping for 25 years, Jerome puts all his knowledge of the industry to contribution for Upply. Ship captain at heart, he has written the English-French Lexicon of Containerized Shipping (Paris: CELSE, 2001).
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