According to MANA, southbound container shipments from Asia to ECSA continue to recover after what were a few“truly dreadful years”. In the first seven months of 2017 southbound traffic flows increased by 11% to nearly 710,000 TEU, Drewry cited data from Datamar.
Based on current numbers the southbound trade will end the year with a tally of about 1.3 million TEU, a rise of 11% on 2016 but still some 5% short of 2015 levels and 15% down on the 2013 peak.
Three carriers, including Evergreen, CMA CGM and Cosco, introduced a few extra sailers in July and August in a bid to capitalise on higher freight rates in this corridor.
With ships full on the southbound leg carriers have enjoyed a freight rate bonanza in recent months with spot prices rising in each month since February. Shanghai to Santos rates hit a 44-month high of USD 4,050/40ft container in July.
“Freight rates on this trade are susceptible to relatively small changes in the supply-demand balance so carriers will need to be watchful if they want to avoid any further pricing erosion,” Drewry concluded.