Global shipping lines pushed through new rates increases for September amid a severe shortage of equipment and carrying capacity at Asian export terminals during August-November peak shipping season before year-end holidays. This has resulted in container rates from North Asia to South America reaching new all-time highs.
Rates from North Asia to the West Coast of South America have overtaken rates to the continent's East Coast despite the shorter distance to the West Coast. Congestion at Los Angeles, California, and ports on Mexico's Pacific Coast are extending transit times to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, making those routes more expensive for shipping lines relative to other trans-Pacific trade lanes.
North Asia-to-South America trade volumes have grown steadily year on year as South American economies grew and expanded their import and export activity. Container shipments from North Asia to East Coast South America jumped by 121,000 twenty-foot-equivalent to 617,000 TEUs during the six months to July 2021, compared with the same period in 2020.
Brazil has also been making steady progress in increasing its containerized export trade with China.
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