Xeneta monitoring data of the long-term contract market of container transportation show that the rates on new long-term contracts peaked in the third quarter of 2022, and in the fourth quarter the average rate has already fallen below 4.5 thousand US dollars per FEU - this is by 7.4 % lower than the average for the last quarter of 2021.
The average duration of new contracts has been declining since mid-2022. At its peak, in the second quarter, the average duration of new contracts was 12 months; in the fourth quarter, this figure dropped to 5.5 months.
Contracts on routes from Asia to the northern European ports in the fourth quarter have had an average duration of 4.1 months. None of the new contracts is concluded for a two-year period, compared to one in five contracts a year earlier concluded for 24 months or more. In the fourth quarter, 82% of new contracts have had a term of less than six months.