CONTAINER shipping rates are recovering since the collapse at the end of August of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping, according to data from the Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE).
As of December 21, the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which tracks spot rates of shipping containers, stood at 824, up 26 points from the previous week. Since August 31, the day Hanjin announced it would enter receivership, the SCFI has gained 228 points or 38.3 percent.
The figure surged to a whopping 228 points, or 38.3 percent, from 596 at the end of August when Hanjin Shipping was about to go into receivership.
According to a report by maritime trade analysts Piers, the recovery of shipping rates is the result of a strategy by Maersk Line, the world’s largest shipping company, and other lines such as Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), who reduced rates until competitors were either forced to give up some routes or, as in the case of Hanjin, were forced out of business entirely.
Maersk and MSC have absorbed almost all of the shipping volume lost by Hanjin after its collapse.
While rates have improved, Piers also pointed out that the SCFI is still significantly lower than the 1,500 level it reached about five years ago.
“The SCFI still remains low compared to some 1,500 four to five years ago, but it is rapidly stabilizing as Hanjin Shipping recently got out of the shipping market,” Piers said.