The cost of moving a loaded forty-foot steel box to the West Coast from China was last at $1,824, from $1,418 on Dec. 16, Clarkson data show. That’s still 5.6 percent lower than a year ago after a capacity glut drove rates down as much as 30 percent in 2011. Average costs to charter ships carrying 4,400 twenty-foot boxes for six to 12 months will rise to $18,000 a day this year, from $8,700 in 2011, according to Morgan Stanley.
Container rates on the world’s biggest international trade route are rallying after U.S. imports of manufactured goods rebounded from the first decline in two years.
U.S. container imports gained 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, compared with a drop of the same amount in the previous three months, data from Newark, New Jersey-based PIERS show. Volumes from northern Europe and the Mediterranean rose 12 percent. Rates to carry 40-foot boxes to the West Coast from China rose 29 percent since Dec. 16, according to Clarkson Plc (CKN), the world’s largest shipbroker.