All Container Heck Breaks Loose Amid Flood of Orders from U.S. Retailers to Supply Stimulus-Stuffed Consumers, Cancelled Sailings by Carriers, and Record Spiking Freight Rates

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

While US Farmers Struggle to Find Empty Containers for Exports.

The freight rates that container carriers charge for shipping containers from Shanghai to the US West Coast has exploded to a new record of $3,871 per 20-foot-equivalent unit (TEU) in the week ended November 13, and to $4,676 per TEU to the US East Coast, according to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which tracks the spot rates of shipping containers from Shanghai on 13 major shipping routes. The index includes ocean freight rates and seaborne surcharges.

The SCFI for all 13 routes jumped combined over 11% last week compared to the prior week, and by about 125% from a year ago (chart via Shanghai Shipping Exchange):

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