The transatlantic trade lane experienced its most significant fall in rates this month since May of last year. However, unlike on fronthaul trades out of the Far East, rates from North Europe to the US East Coast are still considerably higher than their pre-pandemic levels, according to Norway-based transport data firm Xeneta. As of April 24th, spot rates had fallen to $3,090 per FEU, with long-term contracts now at $4,750 per FEU.
The rate developments on this key corridor appear to follow the fronthaul Far East trades with a lag of several months. The start of the year saw spot rates fall below long-term rates on the westbound transatlantic, and the gap between the two has been growing ever since. With new long-term contracts into the U.S. entering validity at the start of May, contracted rates are expected to drop further.
However, high capacity on the transatlantic route means that rates are still falling. The report stated that for the time being, the transatlantic corridor appears to be the market’s fronthaul outlier, responding to macro-market trends at a slower pace than other key routes.