Average container freight rates for trades out of India have significantly tapered off this month compared to the levels maintained by major carriers in May. On the westbound India-Europe trade, rates West India [Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT)/Nhava Sheva or Mundra Port] to Felixstowe/London Gateway (UK) now stand at around US$6,009/20-foot container and US$7,141/40-foot container, down from US$7,615 and US$8,015, respectively, in May.
For ex-West India-to-Rotterdam shipments, average pricing has dropped to about US$6,000 per 20-foot container and US$6,300 per 40-foot container, from US$7,015 and US$7,046, respectively. Eastbound rates, however, remain at the same levels as they were at the end of last month -- at US$1,923/20-foot container and US$2,046/4-foot container for cargo shipped from Felixstowe/Rotterdam to West India.
However, there are signals already that rates will go up. The Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) has announced hefty rate hikes on its India-North America network. It will start charging a general rate increase (GRI) of US$1,000 per container from 4 July, which will be followed by peak season surcharges of US$1,000 per box from 15 July and US$ 2,000 per box from 1 August.