OCEAN shipping rates for containers leaving Shanghai have continued their downward spiral from record highs last summer when the pandemic disrupted the supply of Chinese-made goods in high demand from abroad.
A reversal of the supply-demand balance since then has caused freight rates to come down by as much as 90 per cent, though analysts predicted worse to come because of the bleak economic outlook, reports Hong Kong's South China Morning Post.
Shippers in Shanghai now charge US$2,000 to transport a TEU to the west coast of the United States, compared to as much as $20,000 in the summer of 2021.
"It has become a buyers' market as ocean carriers now have to work hard to attract cargo owners," said Lu Ming, an agent at the Shanghai Ocean Shipping Agency. "The shipping industry in Shanghai has been so volatile since 2020 and industry officials are worried about the prospects for the market."