According to statistics from Drewry on world container freight rates, as of 20th April 2023, the 40 feet container freight rate was $1,774, down 83% from $10,377 in September 2021 and lower 34% compared to the average over the past 10 years of 2,688 USD. The current tariff is equivalent to the end of 2020, but still 25% higher than 2019's $1,420.
In the past year, freight rates for routes have decreased significantly, specifically, the Asia-Europe route has decreased by 81-85%, Asia-US by 75-79%, the Americas-Asia and Europe have decreased 18 - 21%.
As a rule, ocean freight rates will have a 10-year cycle and do not change much during the cycle. But since the second half of 2020, increased demand has pushed up freight rates, along with a shortage of container supply. Market expectation in the coming time will be that freight rates enter a new cycle or create a new base higher than the previous cycle.
Contrary to that expectation, the freight rates after reaching the settlement in September 2021 have adjusted and decreased sharply in the last 6 months of 2022, continuing to decrease until the beginning of 2023.
Especially, according to a forecast from Drewry, in 2023 the world will add about 2.5 million 20-foot containers. The increase in supply, while the sharp decrease in demand is the cause of the decrease in sea freight rates.
In addition, depending on great profits from the period of 2020 - 2021, shipping enterprises have built new ships. In 2021 alone, there are 561 units, 4 times higher than in 2021. Therefore, the same source ships will increase in the period of 2023 - 2024. Some opinions say that it will not be until the fourth quarter of 2023 that the shipping market will be active again.