According to data released by the Japan Maritime Center (Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo), the volume of maritime container transport from Asia to Europe in August was 1,424,473 (in terms of 20-foot containers), an increase of 6% over the same period last year, and exceeded the same period last year for six consecutive months. Since the Ukraine crisis, Asia-Europe container transport has continued to shift from rail transport to sea transport.
From the destination point of view, the eastern Mediterranean increased by 44%, the western Mediterranean increased by 8%, and the sea container traffic from the region that originally imported a lot of containers from China by rail increased significantly.
Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out, European companies have reduced the use of the China-Europe Express train, which connects China and Europe, to avoid passing through Russia and the conflict zone.
Northern Europe, which has many major ports and accounts for more than 60% of Asia’s seaborne container traffic to Europe, saw a year-on-year decline of 2%. Transport demand for general consumer goods is not strong amid concerns about rising prices and a slowdown in consumption due to financial tightening.
The completion of new ships ordered after 2020 has increased supply, but there is not as much demand for transportation, and freight rates are constantly falling. Spot freight rates from Shanghai to Europe were $562 per 20-foot container in the week ended Oct. 13, the lowest since June 2016, according to the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. It was also just $581 for the week ending Oct. 20.
Source：Nihon Keizai Shimbun