The Strategist

FT: Sea freight prices approached their January peak

05/29/2024 - 09:59

The early season of higher demand for the service is driving up the cost of maritime freight shipping once more, writes the Financial Times.
Thus, the average cost of an urgent 40-foot container delivery between the Far East and Northern Europe last week was $4343, according to the analytical firm Xeneta.

When the Houthis began attacking merchant ships navigating the Red Sea in January, freight prices almost rose to their highest point. As a result, ship operators heading from Asia to Europe were forced to reroute their cargo to avoid Africa. The cost for the same kind of delivery in January was roughly $4.8 thousand.

The FT notes that there is typically a period of relative calm in global marine shipments throughout the spring. There is typically a spike in demand for shipping when stores start to aggressively prepare for the Christmas holidays in late summer or early autumn. Retailers chose to re-insure themselves this time around, though, since they anticipate that the attacks on merchant ships will last at least into the winter. As a result, delivery of the items will take significantly longer than usual.