In Focus: Volume shift from North America West Coast to East Coast continues

Recent analysis from Sea Intelligence shows that there has been a shift in volume from the West Coast to the East Coast and that higher volumes are being handled on the East Coast for the first time. 

Their analysis showed the ratio of total handled volume between the West and the East Coast. A number higher than 1 represents more volume being handled by  West Coast ports, whereas a volume lower than 1 represents more volume being handled by East Coast ports. 

In October 2022, the number dipped below 1 for the first time to 0.97 and then to 0.95 in November 2022. To add to this, NAEC laden inbound volumes continued to grow by an average of nearly 8% in October/November 2022.  However, on the other side of the country, West Coast volumes continued to decline in October/November by 4.1%.  

This resulted in higher volumes being handled on the East Coast rather than the West Coast for the first time in history.



  • Increased demand, especially in Europe and the US over the past couple of years has revealed cracks in China’s logistics infrastructure.
    • To make improvements, the country announced a long-term plan for modernising its logistics system.
    • The 5 year plan will focus on “supply/demand adaptation with internal and external connectivity” according to China’s state news agency Xinhua.
    • It will also focus on “strengthening the service guarantee of modern logistics to people’s livelihood and improving the emergency response capacity of modern logistics.”
    • Essentially, these plans will keep China competitive, enabling them to cope with peaks in demand. 


Central China to USA and Europe 

  • As we are in the week just before Chinese New Year, trucking services will stop this Monday or Tuesday at the latest. 
  • Space on carriers is  fully booked but spot rates may be available between 24th-29th January.
  • If you have any urgent cargo, please make your bookings as early as possible.

North China to USA and Europe 

  • The air market is tight this week and rates are fluctuating. 
  • Space is now fully booked before the Chinese New Year Holiday. 
  • Air China, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines are able to provide spot rates for dense cargo, 3-4 days in advance. 
  • Korean Air and Asiana Airlines are offering freighter flights with earlier ETDs. 
  • The market is tight this week. The rate continues to fluctuate. Space is fully booked before CNY holiday. Now the main services are CA/LH/SQ with passenger flights.
  • Truck LTL service is also suspended this week.

South China to USA and Europe 

  • As we’re approaching the Chinese New Year holiday, space is tight this week compared to last week, and rates are also higher compared to last week. All shipments need to be checked with the carrier case by case.


  • The US Government has released the US National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonisation which provides a strategy for cutting all greenhouse emissions from the transportation sector by 2050. 
    • The blueprint also includes maritime transportation to cut emissions in this area that will require “intergovernmental collaboration that aligns with industry and community needs”.
    • Priorities in the blueprint include:
      • Research and innovation on alternative fuels
      • Engagement with international and domestic stakeholders
      • Infrastructure investments and improved design and planning in clean technologies.


  • Lincoln Airport in Nebraska will receive US $65 million that aims to turn it into an air cargo hub. 
    • The investment will develop the site’s facilities and make Lincoln Airport a critical hub for air cargo and other aviation-related activities. 
    • A driver behind this investment is the growth in e-commerce as it has created opportunities for regional airports with existing facilities and logistical support to capitalise on. 


  • At the PSA terminal in  Antwerp, Belgium, yard utilisation at and reefer stacks are at a normal level. Empty  storage and labour availability are also at a good level.
    • At AGW, the yard is on a low operational level with sufficient labour availability.
    • All ANR terminals have export delivery restrictions in place, whereby gates for the delivery of export cargo will be opened only 7 days before vessels’ ETA. 
  • At the Port of Rotterdam, yard utilisation remains manageable. 
    • Reefer capacity is short at the ECT terminals but is normal for RWG.
    • Import pick-up dwell times and labour availability is also at normal levels at RWG.


  • At the Port of Southampton, yard levels are manageable and reefer stacks are on a good operational level.
    • Labour availability is good and SOU cargo opening time for the acceptance of export cargo is 10 days in advance of vessels’ ETA.
  • At London Gateway Port, Yard utilisation and reefer stacks are at a normal level.
    • Strong winds have reduced productivity at the terminal but labour has improved. 


  • The UK government has launched a new fund to help small to medium sized businesses to develop greener and more efficient solutions for freight.
    • The freight innovation fund (FIF) will go to up to 35 SMEs. They will then work with industry leading companies to develop solutions to make freight more sustainable including how freight moves between rail, road and maritime transport. 
    • The fund will look to tackle 3 long standing issues in the sector including:
      • A lack of large scale cross-industry data collection across different modes of freight transport.
      • Difficulties in intermodal transport such as between rail and road and looking at solutions on improving how large consignments are broken up into smaller ones. 
      • Improvements in freight distribution in ports across different modes of transport.

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.

January  23 – Romania

January  24 – Romania 

February  6 – Ireland

February  8 – Slovenia

February 10 – Malta 

February 16 – Lithuania

February 20 – Luxembourg*

February 21 – Portugal*, Spain* 

February 28 – 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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