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Crisis in the Red Sea drives up rates for container shipments

Caption: The destroyer "USS Chung-Hoon" escorts a Maersk container ship through the Gulf of Aden during the exercise "Lucky Mariner 19" (© US Navy)

The attacks by the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea not only disrupt maritime traffic, but also drive up rates. At CMA CGM, the price doubles.

The disruptions to scheduled services as a result of the Gaza conflict have driven spot prices on the Far East-Europe route to their highest level in fifteen months. Last Friday, they stood at 2,694 US per TEU for traffic between the Far East and Europe. According to Alphaliner, this represents an increase of 80% compared to the previous week. [ds_preview]

Rates increase threefold

Rates have more than tripled since the beginning of December, according to the report. The last time similarly high rates were reported was in the run-up to “Golden Week” in China at the beginning of October 2022.

Spot rates on routes between the Far East and the Mediterranean also rose by 70% compared to the previous week, reaching a 15-month high of 3,491 US/TEU on Friday. French shipping company CMA CGM doubled the price of a 40-foot container to $6,000 from January 15.

Since the attacks in the Red Sea, many shipping companies have been avoiding the route via the Suez Canal. Instead, they are routing their ships around the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa. The higher fuel, personnel and insurance costs are added to the freight price. Most recently, Maersk also suspended the Red Sea passage until further notice following the attack on the container ship “Maersk Hangzhou”. Hapag-Lloyd is also taking a detour, initially until January 9.

The crisis in the Middle East is also having an impact on the stock market. Hapag-Lloyd’s share price climbed by around 5% to € 143 on the first trading day of the new year. Within three weeks, the share price increase amounted to around 40%, writes Alphaliner.

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