Welcome to the Zencargo weekly freight market update – the latest news from our freight and procurement teams on the real experience of shippers.
This week: Incoming squeeze on US imports

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Ocean

Asia → North America

Rates

  • Hapag-Lloyd has announced a new GRI from the Indian subcontinent to the US, effective on all containers from August 1st, of between $1200-1400.

Capacity

  • Maersk has confirmed its intention to launch two additional Far East services, calling at US East and West coast ports in anticipation of peak season.
  • After scrambling for vessel space and paying record spot rates in the second quarter, retailers and other importers are being warned by carriers and forwarders to expect even higher rates and tighter space constraints in the third quarter.
  • US retailers say that after setting another record in May, import volumes will remain unusually strong by historical standards, further intensifying the operational bottlenecks along the US supply chain.

Equipment:

  • Marine chassis are in increasingly short supply in the US, with hippers facing excessive storage bills as the supply of marine chassis at U.S. Midwest rail hubs dries up, with containers building up at inland locations.

Ports

  • Terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are bracing for spike in imports from China later this month as a backlog of US-bound cargo built up during the recent COVID-19 outbreak arrives on the West Coast.

Asia → Europe (Far East Westbound)

Rates

  • Upward pressure on rates continues, with long-term rates up 168% compared to pre-pandemic 2019 and spot rates are currently 630% above 2019 levels.
    • Effective from 15th July, Maersk has announced a new PSS on routes from Asia to North Europe of $1000/20ft and $2000/40ft containers.
    • MSC has dropped their previous announced GRI for the first half of July, following levels similar to other carriers.
      • Available space on their Diamond tier are around $18,000.
    • Hapag-Lloyd has announced a new PSS on routes from the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent to Europe of $1000/ 20ft and $500/ 4ft containers.
    • Hapag-Lloyd also announced a GRI on all containers from India to Europe of between $480-$600.

Capacity

  • Capacity expected to remain tight going into peak season as sufficient demand remains to outperform max capacity.

Equipment

  • There is currently a severe shortage of 40ft high cubes, but still availability for standard 40ft containers.
  • There is also available stock of 20ft containers.

Ports

  • Congestion at Antwerp, with vessel berthing waiting times now extending to five days, is prompting 2m alliance members to skip the port for a six week period.

Europe → USA (Transatlantic Westbound)

Rates

  • CMA has announced a PSS from Europe to North America, effective from August 1st:
    • East Coast: $1,000/ 20′, $1,250/ 40′
    • West Coast: $1,000 /20′, $1,500/ 40′
  • Strong volume performance and cargo backlog are likely to drive rates further up during Q3

Capacity:

  • ONE and Yang Ming are reported to not have space until mid-August, though MSC have some pockets of space.
  • A streak of blank sailings due to vessel maintenance will be implemented by THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance in week 29 and 31 on the USWC service.

Ports:

  • Hapag-Lloyd have confirmed a Congestion Surcharge of USD 350 per container for all intermodal moves in the US effective upon carrier receipt of cargo on or after August 1, 2021 until further notice.


Air

Asia

US market

  • Things have calmed down a little since last week with rates reducing slightly. Although we do expect rates to remain high until the end of the year as we are now coming into peak season and capacity is still tight.
  • Cargo flights are all running, with no cancellations but some converted passenger flights are being changed to domestic flights to accommodate summer holiday travel
  • Spot rates available for heavy/dense cargo as well as volume cargo.
  • For all airports – rates and space must be checked on a case by case basis.

EU market (base airport like FRA/AMS/LUX, etc)

  • Capacity and rate situation remains the same into Europe this week with space critical and rates high. Due to the incoming peak season we expect rates to remain at a high level until the end of the year.
  • Air China has cancelled a flight into AMS.
  • Some converted passenger flights are being changed to domestic flights to accommodate summer holiday travel
  • Rates and space must be checked on a case by case basis.
  • Spot rates available for heavy/dense cargo as well as volume cargo.

UK market

  • Capacity and rate situation remains the same into Europe this week with space critical and rates high. Due to the incoming peak season we expect rates to remain at a high level until the end of the year.
  • Some converted passenger flights are being changed to domestic flights to accommodate summer holiday travel
  • There are direct flights with CA/BA, AIR-AIR by SQ and normal air-truck service. Space using deferred carriers is fully booked.
  • Rates and space must be checked on a case by case basis.
  • Spot rates available for heavy/dense cargo as well as volume cargo.

Americas

  • Rates remain mostly the same this week, into UK, Europe and Asia
  • Space remains constricted due to reduced capacity.
  • There are still backlogs at the handling sheds at main airports, resulting in long queues when collecting/delivering cargo.
  • US hauliers are currently over capacity and over booked causing more delays.

Europe

  • Rates into North America and Asia remain stable this week.
  • Capacity to most regions remains severely restricted
  • Hong Kong have banned all passenger flight from UK to Hong Kong to curn the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Road

Availability

Availability generally reliable across all routes and regions.

Rates

Rates are fluctuating in and out of Italy, but remain stable across consolidated, groupage and dedicated trailers on other routes.

Customs

Border situations have improved considerably with clearances running smoothly.

The route ahead

The information that is available in the Weekly Market Update comes from a variety of online sources, partners and our own teams. Click below to learn more about how Zencargo can help make your supply chain your competitive advantage.

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