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Trans-Pacific rates still sinking. Trans-Atlantic rates still peaking

It’s a tale of two oceans: The price to ship containers of cargo eastbound from Asia to the U.S. across the Pacific continues to recede from record levels. In contrast, the price to ship containers westbound across the Atlantic from Europe has risen through 2022 and is still hovering near all-time highs.

Vessel backups remain historically severe off Savannah, Georgia, New York/New Jersey and Houston, whereas conditions have dramatically improved off Los Angeles/Long Beach. Reduced congestion is negative for spot pricing. Thus, Asia-West Coast rates are falling faster than Asia-East Coast rates.

The East Coast port congestion that’s tying up ships coming from Asia via the Panama Canal is simultaneously soaking up capacity arriving from Europe. Trans-Atlantic vessel capacity is much more limited than in the trans-Pacific, with the balance remaining in favor of shipping lines — even more so due to congestion. Consequently, trans-Atlantic spot rates remain historically strong, bucking the global trend.

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