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[COPENHAGEN] Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe dropped 22.8 per cent to $400 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended last Friday, data from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index showed.
Freight rates on the world's busiest shipping route have tanked this year due to overcapacity in available vessels and sluggish demand for transported goods. Rates generally deemed profitable for shipping companies on the route are at about US$800-US$1,000 per TEU.
It was the third consecutive week of falling freight rates on the world's busiest route. Container freight rates have so far increased in 5 weeks this year but fallen in 23 weeks.
In the week to Friday, container freight rates fell 24 percent from Asia to ports in the Mediterranean, fell 4.4 per cent to ports on the US West Coast and were down 3.7 per cent to ports on the US East Coast.
Maersk Line, the global market leader with more than 600 vessels and part of Danish oil and shipping group AP Moller-Maersk, was one of the few container shipping companies to make a profit last year. The company controls around one fifth of all transported containers from Asia to Europe.