The upward trend in container freight rates continues. After the cargo movement and freight rate hikes that occurred on North American and European routes last year, the freight rate market had remained relatively calm. However, the Suez stranding accident in March of this year triggered an unprecedented rise in freight rates, and the subsequent turmoil at the Yantian port in China also spurred a rise in the market. The most recent preliminary figures released by some shipping companies show that profits increased even more than in the first quarter, and the improvement in the first half of the year is sure to gain momentum. Cargo movement is expected to enter a peak season, and freight rates are expected to remain high for the time being.
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