GCTL8.com (FocusAsia Media Ltd)

LONDON, Jan 25 (FAM) – Contracted freight rates on most ocean container trades will be 20-40% higher in 2017 than in 2016, according to container shipping analyst Drewry. But despite the anticipated price increases, Asia-Europe shippers would still be wise to wait until after Chinese New Year (CNY) before signing long-term contracts in the hope that spot rates subside.

Asked by Lloyd’s Loading List in a Drewry webinar last week if shippers currently delaying signing new Asia-North Europe annual contracts before production lines shut down for the Chinese New Year festivities on January 28 were gambling on a post-CNY decline, Simon Heaney, senior manager for Supply Chain Research, said it was a strategy that made sense given that 2017 was following previous years in seeing a pre-CNY spike in rates.