Freight Rates at New Peaks in June 2021

AzinTrade’s Perspective on Freight Rates Surge in June 2021


In June 2021, the global freight industry experienced unprecedented challenges and shifts, particularly highlighted by soaring freight rates across major trade routes. At AzinTrade, we closely monitor these developments to provide informed insights and solutions to our clients navigating the complex logistics landscape.

Freight Rates Surge: A Global Phenomenon

The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) made headlines by surpassing 3,000 points for the first time ever in May, reaching a record high of 3,343 points. This surge was driven by continuous rate increases in Chinese exports, particularly affecting routes like Shanghai to North Europe, which saw a significant 16% rise in average spot rates during the month.
The aftermath of the Suez Canal blockage further compounded these challenges. Delays in Asia-Europe services resulted in port congestions and hindered the repositioning of empty containers, exacerbating the supply chain disruptions. Concurrently, the Asia-US East Coast trade witnessed a sharp 12.9% increase in spot freight rates, underscoring the widespread impact of global shipping bottlenecks.

Regional Dynamics and Market Reactions

While the Europe-Far East and Transpacific trades thrived on robust Chinese exports, the Europe-North America trade faced stagnation. Carriers redirected capacity to East-West routes, leaving insufficient vessels to accommodate a surge in European exports to North America. This imbalance contributed to a significant 47.6% increase in weekly capacity on the Asia to North America trade compared to the previous year.
In response to heightened demand and capacity constraints, carriers implemented strategic measures such as deploying additional loaders and upgrading services with larger vessels. These proactive steps aimed to alleviate pressure on the North Europe to North America trade, where average freight rates surged by more than one third in May alone.

Industry Challenges and Mitigation Strategies

The current freight rate escalation has prompted the introduction of Higher Peak Season and Equipment Imbalance Surcharges in June. These surcharges are essential for carriers to manage operational costs and maintain service reliability amid fluctuating demand and logistical complexities.
At AzinTrade, we recognize the critical importance of agility and foresight in navigating these turbulent market conditions. Our commitment to providing tailored logistics solutions ensures that our clients benefit from optimized routes, cost-efficiency, and timely delivery of goods. Whether it’s securing competitive freight rates, managing port congestions, or navigating regulatory changes, we stand ready to support our clients’ evolving needs.

Looking Ahead: Strategic Insights and Client Support

As the freight industry continues to navigate uncertainties, AzinTrade remains dedicated to leveraging industry expertise and global partnerships to deliver value-driven solutions. We anticipate continued volatility in freight rates and operational challenges, necessitating proactive strategies and collaborative efforts across the supply chain.
Stay informed with AzinTrade as we monitor market trends, regulatory developments, and emerging opportunities in the freight industry. Our team is committed to providing actionable insights and personalized support to empower our clients in making informed logistics decisions and optimizing their supply chain operations.
Contact AzinTrade today to learn more about how we can assist you in navigating the evolving freight landscape and achieving your business objectives with confidence.