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2022 November 23 17:59

Ocean freight volumes in container segment forecasted to drop by 2.5%

Freight rates are expected to decrease to pre-pandemic level

Ocean freight volumes are expected to drop by around 2.5%, according to the forecast of Oslo-based Xeneta. The analysts say the rates will drop “significantly” and weak demand will force increased idling of vessels.

From climbing to historical highs during the global pandemic, ocean freight rates have fallen away – and in the case of spot rates, dramatically so – since the summer. From a current position of “next to nothing” Xeneta forecasts idling of up to 1m TEU.

“We expect to see significant reductions. Carriers have proved adept at protecting and elevating rates during COVID, but with too much capacity, and easing port congestion, on most major trade lanes they’ll be fighting losing battles in 2023. We could see spot rates on some key corridors drop below pre-pandemic levels during the first half of 2023, while long-term rates will fall rapidly as older, expensive contracts expire and new, far lower contracts are signed. However, long-term rates will not drop below spot rates during the first half of 2023,” the report reads.

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