Shipping costs head back to earth

Shipping costs head back to earth

Data: Freightos; Chart: Axios VisualsData: Freightos; Chart: Axios Visuals

Data: Freightos; Chart: Axios Visuals

One signal that America’s demand for goods is cooling: The cost of shipping is receding quickly.

What’s happening: The spot price to ship in a key corridor, from China and east Asia to the U.S. west coast, will now run you $7,600 per 40-foot container — down a whopping 62% from the brief high above $20,000 last September, according to Freightos, a booking and payments platform for international freight.

  • Yes, but: That’s still more than three times the average pre-pandemic cost.

The big picture: There’s a finite supply of ships to ferry goods from manufacturers in Asia to stateside ports. Last year’s skyrocketing prices were driven by demand growth (which this retail sales chart attests), says Zvi Schreiber, Freightos CEO.

  • Now: Demand for goods is easing, as Americans shift more of their spending back to services, and as recession worries circulate, he says.

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