Rumours of a new express Transatlantic service operated by COSCO Shipping out of Piraeus to New York will be no surprise as demand has sent rates through the roof with nearly US$900 added to westbound spot freight costs since the end of March.
If the claims are correct, the new COSCO service will be launched in June and will sail between the New York and Piraeus in nine days, with the expectation that there will be no port call in between. COSCO would not confirm or deny that the new service will be launched when contacted.
Meanwhile, spot rates on the Freightos Baltic Index (FBX) have increased from US$2,174/FEU on 26 March, to US$3,012/FEU on 9 April, on the westbound Transatlantic trades. Backhaul rates on the Atlantic eastbound peaked at US$523/FEU in early February, before falling sharply. On 2 April eastbound spot rates were US$361/FEU by the 9 April those rates reached US$506/FEU.
Judah Levine, research lead at Feightos said on 9 April that, “Continued strong demand and scarce capacity sent rates spiking on transatlantic lanes this week.” Levine added that “Disruption in the Suez Canal may have contributed to the announcement of more cancelled sailings for the coming weeks, removing about 9% of all scheduled ships. Rates from Europe to South America likewise spiked by nearly 25%.”