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Asia-Europe container freight rates drop 22.4%: source

[COPENHAGEN] Shipping freight rates for transporting containers on the world's busiest route have dropped by more than 20 per cent for the second consecutive week and are now at their lowest level since July 24.

Spot rates fell 22.4 per cent to US$456 from ports in Asia to Northern Europe after a fall of 22.9 per cent last week, one source with access to data from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index told Reuters.

Container freight rates have so far increased in 8 weeks this year but fallen in 28 weeks.

In the week to Friday, container freight rates plunged 26.9 per cent from Asia to ports in the Mediterranean, fell 5.6 per cent to ports on the US West Coast and were down 9.1 per cent to ports on the US East Coast.

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Average rates for 2015 are US$659 per TEU compared with US$1,171 last year.

Maersk Line, the global market leader with more than 600 container vessels and part of Danish oil and shipping group AP Moller-Maersk, controls around one fifth of all transported containers from Asia to Europe.