THE Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) posted an extraordinary 13.7 per cent jump this week for US west coast to $1,471 per FEU, in reaction to a raft of cancelled sailings ahead of the peak season, reports London's Loadstar.
Rates recorded by the SCFI for US east coast ports were flat, however, at $2,541 per FEU, although supply has hitherto been tight on the route due to Panama Canal draught restrictions underpinning rates on the trade.
Transpacific rates have fallen 22 per cent for the west coast and 16 per cent on the east coast since the beginning of the year, boosted by front-loading demand, but still much where they were this time last year.
According to digital booking platform Freightos' chief marketing officer, Eytan Buchman, the "real Trump card for transpacific rates, at least in the short-term, is the Chinese threat to cut off rare earth exports to the US".
Mr Buchman said this could trigger the US to retaliate with an additional 25 per cent of tariffs on the remaining 57 per cent of Chinese imports which currently are not subject to a duty.