Shipping Market Update: Asia-North Europe & Transpacific

Asia-North Europe container rates face pressure this week, dipping 16% per 40ft. Retailers in Europe maintain a cautious stance in light of persistent inflation and expected interest rate hikes. According to Helen Dickinson, CEO of British Retail Consortium, due to the high cost of living, significant sales growth is improbable in upcoming months.

The Transpacific story is different ?. Asia to US shippers face challenges due to recent disruptions on the US west coast. As negotiations drag on, there’s little consensus between ILWU and PMA on wages and port automation. Panama Canal’s draft restrictions , which curtail ship utilisation by up to 40%, compound issues.

Shippers rerouting to US east and Gulf coasts face hurdles as well as spot rates climb! The Freightos Baltic Exchange (FBX) average rate to the US east coast surged 11.5% for 40ft containers, while rates to the US west coast jumped 16.3% per 40ft.



  • Chinese ports posted a 4.8% year-on-year  increase in volume throughput for Q1.
    • Shanghai, the busiest port in the world last year, posted a 1% increase from January to April of this year. 
    • The ports which showed the biggest increases in Q1 were Yinkou, Dalian and Lianyungang, reporting container growth of 24.3%, 22.2% and 18% respectively.


Central China to USA and Europe 

  • From SHA to Europe and the US  rates have increased slightly.
    • Rates to AMS have increased significantly as flights have been cancelled due to C-Check’s (circraft compliance checks). 
  • From NGB to Europe and the US rates have increased. 
    • Final rate is offered on a case by case basis.

North China to USA and Europe 

  • From TSN to Europe and the US, rates have decreased slightly this week. 
    • We recommend booking 3 -4 days prior to the cargo ready date for shipments to Europe.
    • For Europe, the main services on this lane include Air China, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines can provide freight flights that can offer an earlier estimated time of departure and arrival. 
    • For the US,  the main services on this lane include Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Cathay Pacific. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines can provide freight flights that can offer an earlier estimated time of departure and arrival. 
  • From PEK to Europe and the US rates have decreased this week.
    • Special rates can be applied to heavy dense cargo. Please check on a case-by-case basis. 
  • From TAO to Europe rates have remained stable while rates to the US have increased slightly this week. 
  • From CKG to Europe have remained stable, while rates to the US have increased slightly since last week. 

South China to USA and Europe 

  • From  CAN to Europe and the USA, rates have remained stable this week.
    • All shipments will need to be checked with the carrier for rates on a case-by-case basis. 
  • From SZX  to Europe and the US rates have decreased slightly this week.
    • All shipments will need to be checked with the carrier for rates on a case-by-case basis. 
  • From XMN to Europe and the US rates have remained stable.
    • All shipments will need to be checked with the carrier for rates on a case-by-case basis.


  • Indian ports along the coastline of Gujarat have been forced to close as Cyclone Biparjoy approaches. 
    • Ports such as Mundra, Pipavav and Hazira, some of the busiest in the region have been impacted.
    • The cyclone has been categorised as a “severe storm” and could last up to a week, so uncertainty remains over the extent and duration of the impact. 
  • CMA CGM has delayed a peak season surcharge (PSS) on India-US containerised cargo which was meant to be implemented this week, till next month.
    • The surcharge will now begin on the 1st of July. 
    • Indian exports have experienced a steep decline, with recent government data showing a 13% decrease in April when compared with 2022 levels.


  • Two new bills in the US have been introduced for legislators to deliberate which aim to reduce emissions in shipping. 
    • The International Maritime Pollution Accountability Act introduces a fee on larger vessels which unload at US ports to curb pollution in the surrounding area. 
    • The Clean Shipping Act of 2023 sets a requirement of cutting  GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions by 45% by 2030. The act would also establish a baseline level of GHG emissions beginning next year. 
  • Cargo operations at the Port of Seattle were shut down on Saturday in the latest “disruptive work action” taken by International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) amidst their protracted contract negotiations with Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). 
    • It is expected that this will result in delays in the coming days. 
    • Industrial action by ILWU earlier last week had caused a backlog at the Port of LA and Long Beach which had only recently been cleared.


  • The Port of Antwerp will play a crucial role in Gateway2Britain, a new initiative announced by Flanders, the northern region of Belgium
    • The initiative is aimed at creating frictionless trade between the UK and Belgium.
    • Part of the driving force behind the programme is research which has found that 74% of UK businesses have considered alternate sourcing options due to the bureaucracy of trading with Europe post Brexit.


  • The Port of Felixstowe has signed a contract for 100 autonomous trucks.
    • The battery powered trucks are aimed at improving efficiency and will be provided by Shanghai Westwell Technology.
    • The port had previously been trialling a number of the trucks before signing the contract. 
    • This represents yet another set toward automation for ports and a glimpse for how the industry is set to change. 


  • DP World is trialling an incentive scheme called the ‘Modal Shift Programme’ aimed at increasing the use of intermodal rail for customers.
    • The programme has the potential to reduce 30,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted per year.
    • The programme will be trialled at Southampton for 12 months starting in September and is a key strategy in the company’s goal of becoming a net zero logistics organisation by 2050.

European Bank Holidays

We anticipate a shortage of availability and the occurrence of delays around the bank holiday periods. Plan ahead and allow extra time for your products to be delivered.

June 13 – Portugal*, Spain*

June 22 – Croatia

June 23 – Estonia, Finland*, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden*

June 24 – Estonia, Finland*, Latvia, Luxembourg, Spain*, Sweden*

June 25 – Slovenia

June 29 – Italy*, Malta, Spain*

July 5 – Czech Republic, Slovakia 

July 6 – Czech Republic, Lithuania

July 11 – Belgium*

July 14 – France

July 21 – Belgium

July 25 – Spain*

July 28 – Spain*

Aug 5 – Croatia, Spain*

Aug 7 – Ireland (Eire)

Aug 14 – Romania*

Aug 15 – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany*, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain

Aug 20 – Estonia, Hungary

Aug 29 – Slovakia

Sep 1 – Slovakia

Sep 2 – Spain*

Sep 4 – Luxembourg*

Sep 6 – Bulgaria

Sep 8 – Malta, Spain*

Sep 11 – Spain*

Sep 15 – Slovakia, Spain*

*Not in all regions

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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