Port disruption has not been enough to slow down the drop in rates

Despite ongoing port disruption in North Europe, spot rates continued to fall in Q3. 

Alphaliner has analysed vessel arrivals for the 18 mega-alliance services between the Far East and North Europe for 10 major ports in North Europe. 

Their study found that out of 827 calls that should have been made at North European ports, only 687 actual calls were made. Some of these calls included off-schedule from ships that were not part of their regular schedule as they were diverted. 

The Alphaliner analysis shows that the volatility in the Far-East to North Europe schedules has not been enough to slow down the drop in rates on this route. Another example of non-standard cause and effect in the supply chain when compared to historic trends. 

We understand that the rate market is still changing and hard to navigate. That’s why Zencargo are offering 1:1 rate consultations to help shippers guarantee rates and space. Book a space with us today if you’re interested in hearing more. 



  • Container spot rates from China remain under pressure as demand has not picked up post Golden Week. 
    • Vessel utilisation on sailings from Asia to North Europe last week decreased to below 70% on some voyages. 
    • Shipping lines are increasing blank sailings as Maersk has announced to ‘balance the network’ the removal of the 26th October MSC Hamburg service on the 2M’s AE1/Shogun loop.
    • The loop deploys 11 vessels with an average of 14,414 TEU on a 77 day round trip. 
    • MSC, Maersk’s 2M partner, has advised that this sailing has been blanked and the service would resume a week later. 


Central China to USA and Europe 

  • Rates have increased this week from SHA to Europe and the USA. Shippers are advised to book earlier to secure cargo space.
  • From NGB to Europe and the USA, rates have increased and space is tighter than  in previous weeks. 

North China to USA and Europe 

  • From TSN to Europe and the USA, rates have increased. However, they are still lower compared to the same period as last year. 
  • Rates have increased from PEK to Europe and the USA. It is advised to confirm rates and space 4 to 5 days in advance to secure cargo space.
  • The route from TAO to Europe remains the same as last week. From TAO to the US West Coast, rates have increased to LAX, SEA and ORD.
  • From CKG to Europe and the USA, rates remain the same. 

South China to USA and Europe 

  • Rates are higher compared to last week from CAN to Europe and the USA.
  • From SZX to Europe and the USA, the market is stable and rates can be negotiated with carriers on a case-by-case basis. 
  • From XMN to Europe and the USA rates have increased this week. 


  • The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWED), which represents more than 11,000 workers has announced that its members have rejected a contract deal with a committee representing major US freight railroads. 
    • The unions have been locked into talks with freight rail carriers over sick leave, pay, and reduced staffing. 
    • Despite the failed negotiations, there is a ‘status quo’ period where the union can’t strike until 19th November. 
    • However, the long term implications of the failed negotiations are harder to predict and pose potential risk to the supply chain. 


  • Contargo is planning to expand its inland terminal at Frankfurt’s Industriepark Hoechst by 10,000 square metres.
    • Frankfurt’s Industriepark handles barge, rail and truck transports along the Main and Rhine rivers. 
    • Extension of the terminal is expected to be complete by early 2024. 
    • This will provide more space along Northern Europe’s inland waterway terminals and the expansion will bring relief to some barge services who have at times faced long delays. 
    • However, experts have commented that bottlenecks are occurring at deep sea ports rather than inland waterways. 
    • They have commented that berthing spaces are limited and ports have prioritised container lines over barges which has contributed to delays in barge services.


  • The Port Authorities of Rotterdam and Gothenburg have signed a green corridor deal. 
    • The agreement will establish a common framework for cooperation to promote the use of alternative fuels.
    • Both parties intend to connect the green corridor to a larger network of deep-sea corridors.
    • The aim of this is to meet the net zero 2050 goals set by the Paris Agreement. 


  • Nearly 600 Liverpool port workers have voted to go on another two week strike from 24th October to 7th November. 
    • Since industrial action began on 19th September at the Port of Liverpool, over wage disputes. 
    • Since then, Peel Ports have announced that they are considering job redundancies due to a deterioration in container volumes. 
    • This has provoked a strong reaction from the union who have said that Peel Ports has “chosen to threaten jobs” instead of resolving the dispute. 


  • The Road Haulage Association has released its latest decarbonisation policy for commercial vehicles.
    • The policy highlights that low carbon fuels should play a critical role on the journey to Net Zero. 
    • It outlines requests to both the UK Government and the industry to help commercial vehicle operators make the transition towards Net Zero. 

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.

October 23rd – Hungary

October 26th – Austria

October 28th – Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece

October 31st – Germany*, Hungary, Ireland, Slovenia


November 1st – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany*, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

November 2nd – Belgium*, Lithuania

November 5th – Finland, Sweden

November 9th – Spain 

November 11th – Austria, Belgium, France, Poland

November 15th – Austria, Belgium

November 16th – Germany

November 17th – Czech Republic, Slovakia 

November 18th – Croatia, Latvia 

*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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