Key insights:

  1. Clogged ports and peak demand combined to push Asia-US West Coast rates past $20K/FEU for the first time this week. Asia-East Coast rates likewise climbed by more than 10%, as backlogs have grown in ports like Philadelphia. 
  2. Delays in European ports are contributing to rising transatlantic rates too, with Europe-N. America East Coast prices spiking 18% this week to nearly $7K/FEU, 4X a year ago, after more than two months of stability. 

Asia-US rates:

  • Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) climbed 12% to $20,586/FEU. This rate is 499% higher than the same time last year.
  • Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) increased 11% to $22,173/FEU, and are 438% higher than rates for this week last year

Snarled ports and peak season demand pushed transpacific rates even higher to start the month, after a lull in increases for much of August. 

Record backups at the ports of LA/Long Beach are the major driver of delays that are effectively removing an estimated 20-25% of transpac capacity. Combined with still-surging demand for imports, these delays pushed Asia-US West Coast prices up 12% and past the $20k/FEU mark for the first time this week.

As carriers again look to alternate West Coast ports like Oakland and now Portland, volumes have started causing backlogs in East Coast ports such as Philadelphia as well. Demand and delays are contributing to pressure on Asia-US East Coast rates which climbed more than 10% this week to a new high of $22,173/FEU.

Transatlantic prices, which had been stable for the past two months, spiked 18% to $6,984/FEU. This new high – quadruple its level a year ago – is possibly a result of capacity being shifted to ex-Asia lanes. 

Clogged ports in Europe have kept steady upward pressure on rates from Asia as well, with a 3% increase this week to $14,299/FEU, nearly 8X a year ago, and a 30% climb since the end of May. 

Facing possible delays for holiday merchandise and spiking prices, IKEA joined the growing list of major importers taking unusual steps to gain control of its supply chain. The furniture giant announced it has purchased its own containers and, like Home Depot and Walmart, will charter container ships during the rush.