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ITS Logistics

Global shipping recession could end as freight rates soar on Red Sea troubles

Cargo ship passing through red sea amongst rising freight rates and recession

January 15, 2024
Lee Ying Shan

Asia-Europe rates averaged around $1,550/FEU in 2023, but have now more than doubled to over $3,500/FEU, a recent Jefferies research note said. FEU is a standard unit for measuring for a 40-foot shipping container capacity, which is usually the largest standard size for container vessels.

“When we were in November, we pretty much saw the bottom ... the rates were just bottom of the barrel,” said Paul Brashier, vice president of drayage and intermodal at ITS Logistics. He noted that the abysmal rates extended to not just shipping but also trucking. This was not always the case.

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