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Container freight rates fall to 2019 levels while costs remain high

December 7, 2023


Liner operators continue to struggle with a worsening supply/demand balance, affecting freight rates. On average, the fleet has grown 5% and 19% compared with 2022 and 2019 respectively. On the other hand, container volumes have fallen 2% compared to 2022 and are only 1% up compared to 2019.

“So far this year, container volumes have fallen nearly 2% year-on-year while average freight rates have declined, reaching 2019 levels in September. Since then, they have continued to fall. However, the cost to charter a ship remains 25% higher than in 2019,” stated Niels Rasmussen, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO.

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