European shippers and freight forwarders raise alarm over expensive container freight rates

The cases

Shippers and freight forwarders call on the European Commission to intervene in the container sector in light of the expensive container freight rates, including violation of existing contracts and unreasonable conditions for reservations.

In fact, since November 2020 there has been an incessant rise in the price of freight rates for the transport of containers by sea. On the Asia-Europe route, costs have increased by 400%. Container freight rates surge to new highs in particular in trade from the Far East to the eastern coast of South America, as well as on the Asia-Mediterranean route and on the routes to West Africa. Conversely, prices in the Pacific Ocean have dropped slightly, but this is not a good news for a market where you have to pay extra for equipment, in addition to the various problems related to port congestion, delays and availability of road trailers.

This situation affects the trade growth, due to the slowdown and even the interruption of the goods supply chain, to the detriment of the European SMEs, but it also affects many larger companies, including the automotive industry, as well as fashion, cosmetics, IT activities, and retail.