Container shipping spot rates on the Asia-Europe trade lane remained high in July and August at around $3,500 following a light increase between March and May this year when carriers withdrew capacity and forced rates up. Container loading on the route rose to $4,000 per FEU, a 110.4% increase in May on the same period in 2011 and the rate has fluctuated above 130% in July and August. Drewry forecasts that container rates would continue to soften toward the end of the year. A drop below $3,000 was recorded in the last weeks of August.
Air freight prices dropped in July following a fall in demand, which was 3.3% lower than it was in the same month last year according to the International Air Transport Association. The IATA said that international air freight had been showing signs of improvement since the end of 2011, but the recent decline in business confidence and a slowdown in world trade growth could now be starting to weaken the market. Asia-Pacific airlines, which have the largest share of the market, have made no advance in the level of traffic since the end of 2011.