Box freight rates from Shanghai to Rotterdam have crossed the $10,000 per feu mark for the first time in history.
The Drewry World Container Index released Thursday showed the rate for a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Rotterdam rose to $10,174, up 3.1% from a week ago and a 485% jump from a year ago.
The extraordinarily high freight rates have allowed new entrant CULines from China to now start marketing regular services using 4,200 teu class ships on a tradelane that is accustomed to 18,000+ teu tonnage.
Drewry’s composite index of eight major routes around the world rose 2% to $6,257 from a week earlier.
Cash-rich liners have been spending big on new tonnage so far this year. It has been a truly record-breaking start to the year for containership contracting, with 2.2m teu being ordered. This is more than 12 times higher than the 184,254 teu ordered in the first five months of 2020 and more than 60% higher than the previous record dating back to the start of 2005, according to data from BIMCO.