Weekly Market Updates

Zencargo Market Update: 23rd May

May 23, 2022

In focus: Lockdowns in China have contributed to an increase in container shipping transit times

According to new findings from Windward and Sea Intelligence, average transit time from the previous port of call to berthing at Yantian rose by 98% in April 2022 compared to April 2021. 

For container vessels sailing towards the port of Ningbo, the transit time increased by 27% in April 2022 compared to the same month last year. 

According to the paper, transit time is a more accurate indicator than port waiting times to assess the real impact of port congestion.

This is because carriers may reduce the speed of their vessels to their next port of call to improve fuel efficiency instead of sailing at a regular speed to wait outside of a port.




  • 260,000 TEU of unshipped cargo at Shanghai’s ports will be released to the market this summer when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. 
    • According to a survey by Container xChange, 51% of forwarders, traders and shippers expect that the summer peak season this year will be worse than last year. This was due to cargo backlogs in China and an inability to ship as much product as planned. 
    • The peak shipping period is normally the third quarter of each year as retailers prepare for the fourth quarter of the holiday season. 
    • Last year’s peak season saw record high container freight rates, port congestion and delays in the supply chain. 
    • There is still uncertainty when China’s lockdown restrictions will end which will contribute to further disruption in the supply chain.
  • China has placed lockdown restrictions on Tianjin, a major port city in Northern China. 
    • From 21st May the government implemented a policy which restricts the movement of 14 million people and vehicles. 
    • This follows as Beijing, which is 84 miles away from Tianjin, announced that they would tighten the ‘static management’ of the capital. 
  • Equipment table
Carriers POL 20GP 40GP 40HQ
HPL NINGBO Normal Normal Shortage
SHANGHAI Normal Normal Normal
YANTIAN Normal Normal Normal
SHEKOU Normal Normal Normal
MSK QINGDAO Normal Normal Normal
SHANGHAI Normal Normal Normal
NINGBO Normal Normal Normal
Nanjing Normal Normal Normal
Xiamen Normal Normal Normal
YANTIAN Normal Normal Normal
SHEKOU Normal Normal Normal
NANSHA Normal Normal Normal
HONGKONG Normal Normal Normal
SHANTOU Normal Normal Normal
ONE YANTIAN Normal Normal Normal
SHEKOU Normal Normal Normal
XINGANG Normal Normal Normal
QINGDAO Normal Normal Normal
SHANGHAI Normal Normal Normal
NINGBO Normal Normal Normal
ZIM XIANGANG Normal Normal Normal
NINGBO Normal Normal Normal
SHANGHAI Normal Normal Normal
YANTIAN Normal Shortage Normal
SHEKOU Normal Shortage Normal
HMM SHANGHAI Normal Normal Normal
NINGBO Normal Normal Normal
YANTIAN Normal Normal Shortage
SHEKOU Normal Normal Shortage
MSC SHANGHAI Normal Normal Normal
NINGBO Normal Normal Normal
YANTIAN Normal Normal Normal
SHEKOU Normal Normal Normal
EMC YANTIAN Normal Normal Normal
SHEKOU Normal Normal Normal
NINGBO Normal Normal Normal
SHANGHAI Normal Normal Normal
QINGDAO Normal Normal Normal
OOCL YANTIAN Shortage Shortage Normal
SHANGHAI Normal Normal Normal
NINGBO Normal Normal Shortage
CMA QINGDAO Shortage Shortage Shortage
SHANGHAI Shortage Shortage Shortage
NINGBO Shortage Shortage Shortage
YANTIAN Shortage Shortage Shortage
SHEKOU Shortage Shortage Shortage
COSCO YANTIAN Normal Normal Normal
SHEKOU Normal Normal Normal
SHANGHAI Normal Normal Normal
NINGBO Normal Normal Normal
QINGDAO Normal Normal Normal
DALIAN Normal Normal Normal
XINGANG Normal Normal Normal
YML YANTIAN Normal Normal Normal
SHEKOU Normal Normal Normal



Central China to USA and Europe

  • The COVID-19 situation in Shanghai is easing; however, the city is still in lockdown and all residents are required to take a mandatory antigen or PCR tests once a day.
    • Rates should be quoted on a case-by-case basis.
  • This week, rates from NGB Airport to the USA have remained the same and have decreased to Europe. 
    • Final rates depend on a case-by-case basis.

North China to USA and Europe

  • From TSN to the USA, the air market is stable and the rates are the same as last week. 
    • The COVID-19 outbreak in Tianjin has resulted in low operational efficiency at terminal warehouses.
    • If you require urgent bookings, Korean Airlines and Asiana Airlines are the better options. Please check on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Rates remain the same level as last week from PEK to Europe and the USA.
    • The space in the air market is tight.
    • Some areas in Beijing have been placed in a COVID-19 lockdown, including the airport areas, affecting terminal operational efficiency. 
    • This has limited trucking services due to restrictions that have been put in place to prevent the spread. 
  • Please work with your freight forwarding partners to reconfirm rates and space in advance. 

South China to USA and Europe

  • From CAN Airport to both destinations, rates have increased as some airlines have cancelled their flights. 
  • From SZX Airport, the market and rates remain stable.
  • From XMN Airport, rates are also stable this week. 
  • All shipments need to be checked on a case-by-case basis. 


  • India renews efforts to develop transhipment infrastructure at Tuticorin port
    • Over-reliance on transhipment at Colombo plus increased demand has increased the appetite for alternative hub port options in the region
    • Evidence of this is shown through an investment strategy to develop the container transhipment infrastructure at Tuticorin Port.
    • The strategy will develop the outer harbour to handle 22,000 TEU vessels. 
    • The port reports that container volumes increased from 692,000 TEU between 2017 – 2018 to 781,000 TEU last year. 
    • Tuticorin is the second busiest east coast container port in India and is one of the 12 major ports in the country. 


  • US ports are bracing for the influx of containers sitting at Shanghai’s ports. 
    • Once the lockdown is lifted, a pileup of containers from Shanghai will surge into the ports of the USA. 
    • The US currently imports close to 20% of all products and 35% of electronics from China. 
    • The surge in imports into the US from China is expected to take place in June or July, creating congestion which could overwhelm the ports. 
    • Furthermore, the labour negotiations between West Coast dockworkers and ocean carriers and port operators may add to this disruption.


  • Los Angeles International Airport has set a record for cargo by value moved in a single month
    • LAX set a record in March with global imports and exports moving through the airport worth a total of $13.65 billion US dollars.
    • Total imports moved through the airport accounted for more than $8 billion in March while exports totalled to $5.57 billion. 
    • International trade increased by 22.23% in March 2022 compared to the same month last year. 


  • Congestion at Northern European ports continues to worsen
    • Container ships deployed from the Far East to North Europe currently need an average of 101 days to complete a full round voyage. 
    • This means container ships will arrive 20 days late in China for the next round trip, resulting in carriers to blank more sailings. 
    • The time needed to discharge and download at the three biggest European ports (Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg) totalled to 36 days between the arrival at Rotterdam and departure from Hamburg. 
    • The problems are occurring at European ports due to a lack of port labour, a shortage of truckers and high yard density at container terminals. 
United Kingdom


  • Port congestion expected at the end of May/start of June
    • Cross-Channel routes are set for a particularly busy final week of May due to the half-term getaway combining with the large numbers of football fans heading to Paris for the UEFA Champions League final.
    • While Irish Ferries has added another vessel to its Dover fleet and P&O ferries have resumed a reduced service out of the port, the company’s remaining two ferries are still out of action and facing safety checks and sea trials before coming back online.
    • Local and tourist traffic is also expected to be busy over the four-day Jubilee celebration marking The Queen’s 70 years of service to the nation, from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5 June.


  • Operation Brock on M20 in Kent to remain until after Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday
    • Operation Brock on the M20 will remain in place until after the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday.
    • Operation Brock is the ‘contraflow system designed to keep traffic on the M20 and other roads in Kent moving when there is disruption to travel across the English Channel’.
    • Transport bosses say the traffic contraflow will not be lifted because of expected busy roads and reduced ferry capacity at Dover at the end of May.
    • Under current plans, the decision means National Highways will remove the M20 controls that manage the flow of freight heading to Europe from the motorway overnight on Sunday, 5 June.
  • Road freight prices are surging in Greater London
    • New figures from the TEG Road Transport Price Index have highlighted the severe impact of road freight prices on businesses in Greater London compared to the rest of the UK.
    • The average price-per-mile for haulage and courier vehicles in Greater London jumped by 11.6 points from March to April 2022. Across the UK as a whole, the increase was half that, rising 5.3 points over the same period
  • The UK Government has unveiled plans to invest £200 million in more zero-emission HGVs
    • The three year programme will begin later this year to help decarbonise the UK’s freight industry.
    • This could see hundreds more zero emission HGVs being rolled out across the UK.
    • It could potentially save the industry money as the overall running costs of green vehicles will be cheaper than petrol and diesel vehicles. 

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.

May 24th – BG

May 26th – AT, AD, BE, CH, DK, FR, FI, FL, NO, NL, SE

May 30th – GB, HR

June 1st – MD, RO

June 2nd – DE, GB, IT

June 3rd – GB

June 5th – DE, DK, EE, FI, NO, NL, SE, SI

June 6th – AT, AD, BE, CH, DE, DK, FR, FL, HU, IE, LU, NO, NL, SE

June 7th – CH*

June 8th – DE

June 10th – PT

June 12th – RO, RU

June 13th – GR, RO, RU, UA

June 16th – AT, DE, FL, HR, PT, PL

June 22nd – HR

June 23rd – EE, LU, LV

June 24th – EE, LT, LV

June 25th – FI, HR, SE, SI

June 28th – UA

June 29th – CH

*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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