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The dawn of 2017 saw Container Freight prices start in robust fashion with both import rates from Asia and India to Europe staying strong as well as export rates rising due to reforming of strategic carrier alliances leading to space shortages. Maybe the real surprise for everyone involves with the industry was that these initially strong rates have continued at a similar level through to the third quarter, and if industry intelligence is to be believed may continue to increase or at least hold until the end of the year.
This new tougher stance by carriers has come as a blow to many importers in the UK who have enjoyed very low shipping costs from the Far East, S.E. Asia and Indian Sub-Continent to UK for the past 3-4 years. However it should be said that the shipping industry was itself suffering from the very low rates on offer for the previous years, and cracks were starting to emerge. The tipping point does seem to have been the declaration of Bankruptcy of #Hanjin Shipping in February 2017. Hanjin were a major player in the containerised shipping trader since 1977, however the huge running costs twinned with dwindling container rates proved too much for the South Korean giant who eventually succumbed to the pressures of competition from even larger carriers and alliances.
In a clear act of necessity the remaining mega container carriers have looked at their own financial health and long term prospects and without exception decided that low balling rates and trying to kill off the competition is not the way to go. New alliances have been formed with carriers now operating in 3 main vessel sharing groups and freight rates have recovered to a healthy level for the carriers. Due to this the services on offer have improved in reliability which is itself beneficial to importers and the end users of their products.
We at Mannson Freight believe that the restoration of freight rates is something that had to happen for the health of the carriers and therefore the strength and reliability of the services that we are happy to offer to our own clients. The good years of very low freight rates for importers were never maintainable in the long run as container freight was being offered sometimes at below 20% of cost. The industry should be stronger moving forward and this can only benefit our clients in the long run. Looking for costs for your next shipment? Need a price for a full or part load container? Door to door price for your shipment? Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org