Contract rates for maritime transportation fell below forecasts

In January this year, the Drewry analysts predicted that the contract rates for maritime container shipping this year would decrease by at least one and a half times compared to the levels of the previous year. At the same time, cargo owners would be able to agree on improvement of other conditions, such as payment terms and penalties.

However, the increased competition between carriers in this contract season has led to a reduction of rates by more than 50%.

Drewry tentatively estimated that shippers’ costs for maritime container transportation on routes from Asia to Europe and North America in 2023 would be reduced from 55% to 85% compared to the levels of the previous year.

Besides, cargo owners’ costs would decrease from loss reduction with the improvement of the service quality. For example, delivery terms have been cut at least in half this year compared to last year.

However, it should be noted that in 2024, one of the factors increasing the rates on maritime transportation may be the introduction of new environmental requirements of the EU for marine fuel.