GCTL8.com (FocusAsia Media Ltd)

LONDON, Jan 11 (FAM) – Shippers can expect increases to both spot market prices and contract rates this year as growth returns to the key Asia-North Europe trade, although the likely slow rate of growth will limit any spot rate hikes, according to container shipping analyst Drewry.

It said spot rates on the key westbound Asia to North Europe container trade had hit a 20-month high now that demand on the route is finally emerging from its long recession. “Following what was a generally disappointing third-quarter peak-season, demand rose by 1.3% year-on-year in October, which as the fastest pace of growth since July gives a clear indication of the grindingly slow nature of the recovery,” the analyst noted.