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Ocean Freight Rates Report

Period : 1st Jan 2020– 15th Dec 2022

Date : 7th Jan 2023

Researcher : Esther Low

Source : Freightos Baltic Index

Global Average Rates of Ocean Freight

Global container freight rates have drastically ease since March 2022. Freight rates as of 16th Dec 2022 is at $2,127 similar to freight rates back in Oct 2020. With recession fears and continuous easing of COVID restrictions especially in China freight rates will continue to face downwards pressure in 2023 and return to pre-pandemic levels. Freight rates have fell by 81% from its peak on 10 Sep 2021 at $11,109 to $2,127 on 16th Dec 2022.

Ocean Freight Rates for Far East Region

(China/East Asia ↔ North Europe)

The freight rates for China – North Europe route has fallen to pre-pandemic levels. From its peak in 4th Feb 2022 at $14,432 to $2,168 on 16th Dec 2022 (down 85%).

Meanwhile rates for return route from North Europe to China/East Asia have fallen lower than pre-pandemic levels towards the end of Sep 2022. Freight rates for this route is $367 as of 16th Dec 2022, down 79% from $1,753 in May 2021.

Ocean Freight Rates for Pacific Region

(China/East Asia ↔ North America East Coast)

Similarly freight rate for the China/East Asia route to North America east coast has also

returned to pre-pandemic levels. The freight rates have since come off by 67.3% from

$21,823 in Sept 21 to $3,252 in Dec 22 (down 85%).

For the return route North America East Coast to China/East Asia, freight rates remains firm between the ranges of $800 - $1,000.

Ocean Freight Rates for Atlantic Trade

(Europe ↔ North America East Coast)

Unlike freight rates for the other routes to and fro Asia, freight rates for the Atlantic trade routes North Europe to North America and North America to North Europe have remained elevated despite slight easing. For North Europe to North America, freight rates as of 16th Dec 22 is $5,792. Although it has eased 38% from its peak of $9,299 in June 2022, it is still considerably higher than rates back in January 2020 at $1,874.

Meanwhile for route North America east coast to North Europe, freight rates have more or less been in the range of $500 - $800.

2023 freight market outlook

Shipping players and analysts are expecting global freight rates to fall further in 2023 due to greater availability of freight capacity globally and weaker freight volumes due to deterioration of global economy. We can see in the above routes, most container rates have come down by at least 75-80% from their peak.

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