Ocean freight Rates to rise in 2017

January 31, 2017 Ken Klaver

Ocean freight Rates to rise in 2017

container freight rates

Freight rates on many ocean container trade routes could rise between 20-40% in 2017.


This according to a report by transport procurement analyst Drewry. As a result, many Asia-Europe shippers have waited until after Chinese New Year before signing long-term contracts. This is a returning strategy that many shippers use. 2017 was no different. Many companies await the Chiness New Year, hoping that spot freight rates will decline.  

“This happens every year,” Simon Heaney, senior manager for Supply Chain Research said during a webinar by Drewry earlier this month. “So it makes sense not to make negotiations while spot rates are at their peak. Post-CNY, rates will go down.”


Freight rates 2017: Don't wait too long


Heaney warns shippers not to wait too long, because that might not lower logistics costs after all. “What we are hearing is that there are backlogs after a strong demand period. So it makes sense to wait. But keep in mind, spot rates on Asia-Europe will rise, so we wouldn’t advise on waiting too long. But it certainly makes sense to hold on for now.”


Ocean Freight: days of large annual growth are gone


Neil Dekker, director at Drewry Analysts,  acclaimed that the days of 4-7% rate growth in the global container trade were 'long gone'. Still, there is reason for positivity he said. A trade expansion of 2.1% is expected - up from 1.3% in 2015 and 1.3% in 2016. Regarding the 2016 ocean freight rates, Dekker saw a clear-cut playfield, with two divided sides. The 1st half of 2016 was dominated by shippers as rates plummeted in Q1 on Asia-Europe and the Transpacific on weak volumes and oversupply. “The 2nd part of the year, the tables turned and demand growth returned to positive territory as shrewd capacity management by carriers saw utilization levels increase.” 

ocean freight rates


More ControlPay content that could be useful


5 Freight Audit and Payment case studies

Ocean freight invoices: Pressure and frustration piling up

Ocean Freight Tendering: 10 Tips For Shippers

Do higher Freight Rates result in better Carrier performance?

How to get rid of 5 spot rate management issues


About ControlPay - Global Freight Audit and Payment


The philosophy of ControlPay is based on deep logistics knowledge that is still present today throughout the company. In contrast with other audit or post audit providers who have been traditionally more focused on payments and invoices, ControlPay very much focuses on the logistics data. Next to that, we apply the most strict implementation processes in the industry.  Auditing for complex large multinationals with global lane set-ups we analyze rates and contracts very thoroughly to make sure no hidden logic, exotic calculation method is left behind. We want to make sure that calculation is done correctly and spend a lot of time on this. Visit our logistics content hub to learn more about the unrivaled capabilities of ControlPay Global Freight Audit, or request more information making use of our contact page. Thank you for reading.



Ken Klaver January 31, 2017 - 14:02

About the Author

Ken Klaver

Ken Klaver governs ControlPay’s social media strategy, while developing brand awareness, generating inbound traffic and encouraging product adoption. On a daily basis, Klaver manages all social channels of CP, writes blogs, creates infographics and maintains a daily news page regarding the most relevant logistics and supply chain topics.

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