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Alphaliner: Historically volatile container rates

2012 was a year in which the container market was plagued by overcapacity, leading to the most volatile freight rates in history, while charter rates were low, writes Alphaliner in an analysis.

Photo: Hyundai Merchant Marine

While the average freigh rates measured by China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI) rose to its highest level ever in May (1,336 points), and closed in 1,113 points, the charter rates for container ships remained at very low levels, writes Alphaliner in the analysis.

"Carriers were able to exercize some degree of market power, by raising average freight rates by 51 percent in several successful rounds of general rate increases in the first half of 2012 despite generally weak demand and poor load factors. However, their success was partly undone by renewed rate competition in the second half of the year as positive operating incomes spurred some carriers to revert to grabbing market share through rate cutting," writes Alphaliner.

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