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Rate increases would reach their peak in the months of July and August

Alzas de tarifas alcanzarían su punto máximo en los meses de julio y agosto

Then, in September, the demand would reduce its intensity, allowing a certain decompression of the panorama.

Spot freight rates from Asia were stable last week, but have already started to rise due to the increases in peak season surcharges that began to be applied this week, as demand remains strong and congestion caused by The Red Sea persists in both the western Mediterranean and the Far East.
According to Freightos Chief Analytics Officer, Judah Levine, strong demand and high spot rates have caused some shipping lines to add services on the Trans-Pacific route and between Asia and Europe.
Meanwhile, smaller regional lines are returning to Trans-Pacific routes for the first time since the pandemic. “But with the capacity already exhausted, the change of ships to East-West routes can contribute, as it did in 2021 and 2022, to higher rates also on regional and lower volume routes,” the analyst points out.
Some U.S. freight forwarders report that most of the recent increases in demand are due to specific product categories moving ahead of U.S. tariff increases scheduled for August on some Chinese products.

Preparations for July and August

The recent increase in delays and tariffs may also pressure many US importers to ship seasonal products before tariffs rise further or to avoid future delays in the year that could threaten inventory availability in the last trimester. Although concerns about a possible labor strike at US East Coast and Gulf ports in October are also beginning to influence. Some services on the Trans-Pacific route are already fully booked through July.
For the Asia-Europe route, where recent port strikes in Germany and France are an additional complication, some of the current volume increase reportedly includes peak-season products, although July tariffs may also be driving some demand.
But with tariff-driven volumes likely to decline in the coming months, and an early start to the peak season may mean a significant proportion of seasonal produce is brought forward for the reasons mentioned above, pressure from demand could also decline sooner than usual.
The US National Retail Federation projects that the US seaborne imports will peak at 2.17 million TEUs in August (a level last reached in 2022) before declining in September and October, suggesting a somewhat early decline and the likelihood of rate levels peaking in July and August.


But Houthi attacks continue to make Red Sea transit unsafe, and increases in charter activity and rates suggest shipping lines expect congestion to remain a factor for some time. Therefore, a seasonal drop in rates in the fourth quarter will likely be no lower than the values seen in March and April, which were still double 2019 levels.

Air freight

Meanwhile, The Freightos Air Index data shows that air cargo rates have remained stable on most routes despite the recent increase in delays and ocean prices.
However, China’s rates to northern Europe, which had been declining in June, recovered to May levels of around US$4.25/kg last week, possibly due to a combination of a renewed shift from ocean to air and continued strength in B2C e-commerce volume.

Source: MundoMaritimo