The container market has improved considerably, but it may have climaxed for the time being, according to an analyst.

The Freightos Baltic Index rose 15.8% from 3 July to 1,528 points on Monday — gaining more than 150 points on 1 August — before dropping 4.4% on Tuesday to 1,461 points.

The average freight rate for the benchmark China-to- US West Coast route leapt 62.9% over the same period to $1,969 per feu on Monday — its highest point since later 2022 — before slipping 7.8% to $1,815 per feu on Tuesday.

“Tighter capacity controls amidst stronger seasonal demand have driven spot rates higher but there appears to be a near-term peak reached,” Jefferies analyst Omar Nokta wrote in a note on Tuesday.

“Spot rates on the route had risen to nearly $2,000 per feu, but recent indications point to rates falling back to below $1,800 per feu.”

Meanwhile, average freight rates for routes from Asia to Europe have hit their highest level since February but they “seem to be losing steam”, he wrote.

The average freight rate for the route from Asia to northern Europe slid 2.54% from 3 July to $1,267 per feu on 31 July before jumping 37% on 1 August to $1,736 per day, according to the Baltic Exchange.

Rates on the route peaked at only $1,805 per feu on 7 August, however, before declining to $1,782 per feu on Monday and then falling to $1,691 per feu on Tuesday,

“This remains above the early July low of $1,300 per feu, however,” Nokta said.