Container volumes at the Brazilian port of Itajai in the January-October period rose 13.4% year on year to at least 457,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit, a spokesman for operator APM Terminals said Nov. 25
Pecem port saw container shipping throughput rise 7.9% on the year at 309,051 TEU in the same period, APM Terminals said in a press release Nov. 24.
Itajai had its historically busiest month in October with 53,000 TEU, the release said.
Exports of refrigerated containers, or reefers, from Pecem soared 70% on the year to 16,800 TEU in the period, the spokesman said.
“The strategic location of the port within the supply chain for shipping lines and end clients is among the key drivers behind growth in the Northeast. Other factors include bigger ships with larger load capacity, a weaker Real, the economic recovery ahead of special dates including Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve events,” the press release said.
Demand for prompt-loading container freight has risen dramatically in recent months. Much of this has been due to PPE imports, market sources said.
Large numbers of people have stayed at home during the coronavirus pandemic, and there has been a switch in consumer preferences. Money that was going on bars and restaurants is going on material goods, to the benefit of the freight sector.
The period of strong demand, which started in the summer, may continue, market sources said.
“Until retailers catch up with inventories we’ll see market on stronger side. Strong demand means strong rates, means high contracts,” one freight forwarder said. “This market is the worst I’ve seen in terms of congestion and shortages. We’ll be in this situation until Chinese [Lunar] New Year at least,” the source added.
Shipping company Hapag-Lloyd increased on Nov. 24 freight for all cargoes and container types from east Asia to South America East Coast by $550/container, with effect from Dec. 1. The increase is “in light of market conditions,” Hapag-Lloyd said.
S&P Global Platts does not have a container assessment to or from Latin American ports. However, Platts assessed its Container Rate 5 North Asia to East coast North America at $4,700/forty foot-equivalent unit Nov. 24. This was compared with $3,500/FEU on Aug. 3.