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Although efforts to restart production, the seven-week blockade in Shanghai led to a drop in export volumes. In response to declining demand for cargo, ocean carriers continue to do so cancel a significant number of voyages from Asia, according to Freightos. This further reduction in capacity may have contributed to the rise in Asia-West Coast rates this week, although prices remain 15% lower than before the blockade in early March, and Asia-Northern Europe rates remain 21% lower, both at levels not seen since last summer.

But the authorities in Shanghai are simple announcements that the city will start reopening in the coming days in order to gradually return to normal by the end of June. Some in the industry think the gradual opening will be manageableand some ocean carriers are already reports a general decline in demand regardless of the situation in Shanghai.

Meanwhile, many observers expect that the reopening will open the door to accumulated demand and send an influx of ships and containers to the already congested centers of Europe and the West Coast of the United States – with Canadian and East Coast alternative ports that have already stretched thin, and the peak season is fast approaching.

Both reopening scenarios are likely to renew at least some pressure to raise interest rates and cause some increase in delays, but like many other things that were unpredictable during the pandemic, the extent of the impact remains to be seen.

Key insights:

  1. As ocean carriers cut capacity, ocean tariffs outside Asia may have stopped falling, although US-West Coast prices are 15% lower than before the blockade in Shanghai and Asia-Europe tariffs have fallen by 21 % from the beginning of March.
  2. Authorities in Shanghai have announced that the reopening will begin soon with a view to a full recovery by the end of June. While some observers expect increased exports, container rates and congestion rates as a result, others believe ocean logistics will be able to take over the gradual opening without extreme harm.

Asia-USA courses:

  • Asia-West Coast of the United States prices (FBX01 Daily) increases by 14% to $ 13,935 / FEU. This percentage is 97% higher than the same period last year.
  • Asia-East Coast of the United States prices (FBX03 Daily) were unchanged at $ 15,963 / FEUand are 113% of the rates for this week last year.

Shanghai Aims for Gradual Reopening

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