Freight 101 Blog

Normalization of ocean rates is happening – gradually

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Dylan Sommer

Weekly highlights

China’s recent military exercises – which are meant to continue this week – are not disrupting ocean freight operations.

However, a sustained conflict could force vessels to take alternative routes, adding transit time, disrupting schedules and contributing to congestion. 

Transpacific ocean rates to the West Coast fell more than 10% this week. Though Asia – US West Coast rates have decreased 20% since July, the pace of the decline has slowed when compared to the 50% drop over May and June.

National Retail Federation data for US ocean imports indicates that volumes peaked and set a monthly record in May. June volumes were 6% lower compared to May, and July’s imports are projected to be similar to June.

Volumes are expected to gradually decline through October with monthly totals slightly below last year’s. Despite this expected decline, volumes per month will still be 12-15% higher than in 2019.

These trends suggest that most of ocean freight peak season was pulled forward to spring this year.

Combined with some decrease in demand driven by inflation and changes in consumer spending, it also looks like the shift toward normalization has started, but will be gradual as demand remains strong and congestion continues to strain capacity. 

Asia-US rates for this week

  • Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 11% to $5,939/FEU. This rate is 62% lower than the same time last year.
  • Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) decreased 6% to $9,360/FEU, and are 47% lower than rates for this week last year.

Check in next week for more real-time freight market updates to help you ship smoother.

More rates from

Containerized Freight Rates from the Freightos Baltic Index
FBX LaneGlobalAsia – US West CoastAsia –US East CoastAsia – North EuropeNorth Europe – US East Coast
This Week$5,870$5,939$9,360$9,969$8,116
Last Week-5%-11%6%-5%5%
Last Year*-39%-62%-47%-30%22%
* Compared to the corresponding week in 2021

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