April 19, 2021 – Container spot rates are beginning to head upwards again across all trades from already elevated levels, as carriers reduce their commitment to contract volumes in favour of much higher FAK rates.

The FBX China-North Europe component is up a phenomenal 430% on the same time last year, at a time in the supply chain cycle when rates are generally under slack season pressure before a peak season recovery in July. One UK-based NVOCC said this week his carrier had not only doubled his contract rate from Asia, but had also cut his minimum quantity commitment by 75%. “We now have only a quarter of our business covered by the new contract and the rest will be at the mercy of the line’s FAK rates and all manner of surcharges,” he said. The forwarder also works for clients with a sizeable U.S. market and complained that rates on the transatlantic were now “out of control.”