Shipping lines still record multibillion-dollar quarters thanks to high-priced annual contracts that freighters signed during the boom, even as spot prices plummeted.

However, the grace period is temporary. Record rates on existing annual contracts are being renegotiated midway through the contract. Many carriers do not deliver previously agreed contract quantities. And with the next annual contract negotiations fast approaching, significant price and volume reductions are promised for 2023.

Facing global economic headwinds, the volume of containerized cargo movement continues to plummet, Peter Sand, Chief Analyst, Xeneta, summarizes: “It is clear that the carriers are no longer in charge, the shippers are.”

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