• In April, the VCFI stood at 1,846.24 points, accumulating a growth of 84.62% since the beginning of the series in 2018
  • The Western Mediterranean area saw an increase of 4.42% over the previous month and the Far East rose by 19.63%
  • The fluctuations in maritime transport costs are related, among other factors, to the reconfiguration of maritime routes caused by the conflict in the Red Sea

València, 6 May 2024.- The Valencia Containerised Freight Index (VCFI) for the month of April grew slightly in a scenario in which maritime sector activity is marked by the geopolitical situation.  Thus, in the fourth month of the year, this price index, which is made on the basis of the export prices recorded by the Port of València in 13 geographical areas around the world, stood at 1,846.24 points, representing a monthly increase of 3.14% and an accumulated growth of 84.62% since the beginning of the series in 2018.

This increase in the value of the index is unevenly distributed over the time horizon of the data, as well as across the geographical areas that make up the index. In this sense, a generalised increase is observed in most of the areas analysed, among which the increase in the Middle East (21.08%), the Far East (19.63%), and the Eastern Mediterranean (15.37%), among others, stands out.  However, falls were also recorded in the Indian Subcontinent (-23.30%), and in Central America and the Caribbean (-7.84%).

The VCFI Commentary for the fourth month of the year notes that “according to the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for April, an increase in port traffic has been observed compared to the previous month, indicating an increased demand for shipping from international trade. A notable increase in container traffic in European ports is worth noting, possibly influenced by a number of factors. One contributing factor could be that container ships are choosing to avoid the Red Sea and instead sail around Africa, leading to the delayed delivery of some of the expected cargo”.

In addition, it is stated that “this increase in container volumes could also be attributed to the apparent acceleration of the economic recovery within the Eurozone. This is also evidenced by the significant increase in the North Range Index, which serves as an indicator of economic development in the northern Eurozone and Germany. The index rose sharply, indicating a strengthening of economic momentum in the region”.

VCFI Western Mediterranean

As for the Western Mediterranean sub-index, an increase of 4.42% is observed with respect to the previous month. With this, the VCFI for the Western Mediterranean area has reached 2,020.97 points, representing an accumulated growth of 102.10% since the start of the series in 2018. 

As far as Valenciaport is concerned, the most recent data show an increase in the volume of exports to Morocco and Algeria, and a more notable increase to Tunisia.

VCFI Far East

In the Far East area, an increase of 19.63% has been recorded, standing at 2,900.18 points, representing a cumulative growth of 190.02% since the start of the series in January 2018. As noted in the April VCFI Commentary for the Far East area, “it is essential to consider the uniqueness of the current context, characterised by significant geopolitical instability. While there are signs that demand is gaining momentum and economic recovery is materialising, it is crucial to observe how the supply-demand dynamics in shipping are developing. In this respect, additional operational costs, arising from new route reconfigurations, together with port congestion, are important aspects to consider in relation to supply”.