Ocean Freight Market Update 

Asia → North America (Transpacific Eastbound)

Rates: Stable

Capacity: Space remains extremely tight with some ports in Asia transshipment hubs experiencing up to 30% of cargo being rolled.  

GRI: Despite the strong demand no further GRI’s have been announced.

Upsurge in cargo is mainly heading into the West Coast which will put additional burden on the main ports who are already experiencing delays due to labour shortages. 

Asia → Europe (Far East Westbound)

Rates: Increases announced for November, as carriers look to increase the PSS charges, and the Post Congestion charge for the Port of Felixstowe, now between $200-$300 per teu.

Capacity: Remains available as long as cargo is booked with at least 14 days prior to CRD, spot market is extremely limited. 

Equipment: Shortages are starting to be an issue again as carriers prioritise equipment to the Transpacific Trade. 

Adjustments by carriers in terms of service rotation in Europe are causing more amendments in Customs Declaration in China. Customers are advised to allow more time to ensure they are able to catch the planned sailing. Trucking is now in peak season and trucks need to be reserved 48hrs prior to CRD.

India → Europe

Rates: Continue to rise and have increased as much as 50% since the beginning of 2020, whilst exports have decreased.

Capacity: Tight for spot bookings. 

Equipment shortages are worsening and not expected to improve in November, as equipment has been diverted to the more profitable trade lanes (TP, AS-AU), and ports where congestion is not an issue.

Europe → North America ( Transatlantic Eastbound )

Rates remain stable after the increases at the beginning of the month on both the East and West Coasts.  

Upsizing by both the 2M and the Alliance, will bring additional tonnage to the trade, approximately 19,000 in each direction. 

Currently being reported that there will only be 3 blank sailings between now and end of Year, 2 in November and 1 in December.

 Air Freight Market Update


  • Rates from China continue to rise due to a number of factors – the Q4 peak, tech companies launching new products and the continued requirement to move PPE by air. They will continue to rise due to the increased demand and the lack of capacity as passenger flights show no sign of recovery. Market rates are likely to be in excess of $7 per kg this week and only valid for 2-3 days. Therefore, market rates are only for reference and need to be checked on a case by case basis.
  • You can’t get flights in or out of some Chinese origins so freight is being taken by truck or by ocean through to other far east international airports to try and get it moving quicker.
  • The air freight market situation is very similar to that on the seas, where there are problems on ocean freight, this is reflecting on air freight. There are delayed ocean freight shipments or impacted ocean freight shipments with delays in transit or skipping ports resulting in air freight orders for distressed ocean freight.
  • Rest of Asia (SE Asia & Korea): Air Freight rates are also climbing up and space issues shall be increasing to critical levels.


  • No real changes to the US market it is still very stable.


  • Although rates seem to have stabilized they are expected to increase slightly as we move towards the peak season just before Christmas. Therefore, would expect to see space become a little more difficult to secure.

European Road Freight Market Update

  • Pressure is increasing on the European trailer rates as companies build stock in Europe.
  •  Advance planning required as equipment demands increase through Q4. 


  • Are you EORI registered
  • Agree Incoterms with your European customers
  • From Jan 1st 2021 commercial documentation will be required prior to shipment (Commercial invoice and Packing list)
  • Have a contingency plan for stock and prepare for delays at the frontier
  • Understand the new VAT rules for imports from 2021

Economic News 

China is still lagging its full-year target agreed with the U.S. and ramps up imports from the U.S. as the trade deal target looms.

The UK has sealed its first large post-Brexit trade deal after signing an agreement with Japan

In the first half of 2020, foreign investment dropped sharply in the U.S. and Europe but barely fell in China. 

Freight Market News 

Asia-Europe shippers face an annual contracting headache due to the growing lack of clarity over expected demand.

Phantom freighter scams are on the rise as air freight capacity remains tight.

Competition sets European parcel market apart from the US as the 2020 holiday season gets closer.

The information that is available in the Weekly Market Update comes from a variety of online sources. Click below to learn more about how Zencargo can help turn your supply chain into your competitive advantage.

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