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GLOBAL SHIPPING RATES SURGE TO 2-YEAR HIGH, IMPACTING INDONESIAN EXPORTERS AMID US TARIFF THREATS AND RED SEA DISRUPTIONS.

Tuesday, 4 June 2024


The recent spike in global shipping container rates, driven by a variety of factors, is creating significant challenges for Indonesian exporters. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) jumped 12.6% last week to 3,044.77, breaking the 3,000-point barrier for the first time since August 2022. This increase has led to higher freight costs, with shipping a 20-foot container from Shanghai to Europe now costing over $7,000, an increase of about $1,000 from a month ago.



Several factors are contributing to this surge in rates. Announcements of new US tariffs on $18 billion worth of Chinese goods have prompted exporters to expedite shipments, impacting global shipping rates. Additionally, the seasonal rush to prepare for the holiday season, combined with disruptions in the Red Sea due to attacks on ships, has exacerbated the situation. Furthermore, a shortage of empty shipping containers has intensified the demand-supply imbalance.


For Indonesian exporters, these developments are particularly concerning. The higher shipping costs will squeeze profit margins and could lead to increased prices for Indonesian goods in international markets. Delays in shipping could also disrupt the timely delivery of exports, especially critical for time-sensitive goods like textiles, electronics, and perishable products.



Indonesian exporters may face a competitive disadvantage as higher shipping costs make their products less attractive compared to those from regions with lower shipping costs. To navigate these challenges, exporters might need to explore alternative shipping routes or methods. Building more resilient supply chains by diversifying suppliers and shipping routes can also help mitigate risks.


Government support in the form of subsidies or logistical assistance could be crucial in alleviating some of the cost burdens on exporters. Additionally, negotiating long-term shipping contracts at fixed rates might provide stability against fluctuating freight costs.


In summary, the surge in shipping container rates presents significant hurdles for Indonesian exporters. By proactively managing costs, diversifying routes, and seeking government support, Indonesian businesses can better navigate the current shipping crisis and maintain their competitive edge in the global market.

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