Global containership capacity idled has surged

In Alphaliner’s latest report, the global inactive container ship fleet has grown significantly in the past two weeks, with the number of vessels commercially idled and ships entering repair yards both increasing.

The capacity marked as inactive reached 315 ships of 1.18 million TEU, as of 9 October. This represented a net addition of 44 ships and 233,504 TEU compared to the previous survey on 25 September. The increase was boosted by the idling of several large units, including seven carrier-controlled ships over 12,500 TEU.

Commercially idle units now comprise 40% of the total inactive fleet, up from 34% a fortnight earlier.




Central China to USA and Europe 

  • From SHA to Europe and the US, rates remain high and will not reduce any time soon 
    • This is because the market is busy with increased orders of e-commerce cargo.
  • From NGB to Europe and the US, rates have increased due to peak season. 
    • The 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 increased for Korean Airlines to both destinations. 
    • Space is fully booked until the end of October to both destinations on Korean Airlines. 
    • Rates for Asiana flights continue to fluctuate on both lanes and space is limited. 
  • From PEK to Europe and the US, hot weather continues to cause loading issues. 
    • Major services from PEK to Europe include: Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Air China, KLM, Air France, Japan Airlines.
    • Major services from PEK to the US include: Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Eva Air. 
    • Rates have increased to both destinations and space is tight. 
  • From TAO to Europe and the US, space is limited this week and rates have gone up. 
    • Rates will need to be checked on a case-by-case basis. 

South China to USA and Europe:

  • From CAN to Europe and the US,  space has become tight as it is peak season now.
    • 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 are stable 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, space is quite tight and airlines have cancelled flights. 
    • Rates remain the same this week to both destinations.




  • After the recent drop in rates, for the second half of October,  rates have flattened with little changes when compared to the first half of the month.
    • There is not full visibility for November rates yet, but they are expected to increase. 
  • Here are the latest port congestion updates in North America:
    • Los Angeles/Long Beach: 0 days delay for berthing with 0 vessels waiting to berth. This is a great improvement in Los Angeles.
    • Oakland: 2 days congestion, which is slowly creeping up due to damaged bumpers. The port has been operating well since the incident, but congestion is rising due to an increase in vessel arrivals.
    • New York/New Jersey: 4 vessels are waiting between the two ports, which is normal. Dwell time is currently 3 days  for New York.
    • Norfolk: Norfolk port congestion has significantly improved, with the current wait time reduced to one day and only 11 vessels waiting to berth, compared to 20 vessels waiting two weeks ago.


  • The Port of Long Beach  has reported its busiest September ever. 
    • The port handled a total of 829,429 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in September, marking an 11.8% increase compared to the same period last year. This is the first monthly year-over-year cargo increase for the port in 14 months.
    • The increase is driven by high consumer demand for holiday-related goods and the recent approval of a labour agreement between dockworkers and management.
    • Import volumes experienced significant growth, rising by 19.3% to reach 408,926 TEUs. Empty containers moving through the Port also increased by 11.5% to 319,255 TEUs.
    • Exports saw a decline of 10.3% to 101,248 TEUs.
    • The port is looking forward to a moderate rebound in cargo volume through the end of the year.



  • The three large US airlines posted strong revenue gains in their core passenger business for the third quarter, but their cargo revenues contracted by a third.
    • American Airlines had the lowest contraction in cargo revenue, a year-on-year decrease of 30.9%.
    • Delta Air Lines’ cargo revenue fell 36%, while United Cargo’s revenue was down 33%.
    • Despite the contractions, all three airlines are upbeat on their cargo divisions’ performance and the outlook for the final quarter as they are focused on growing the value of their higher yielding premium products and meeting the needs of their customers in key sectors such as international passenger demand.




  • A mitigated general rate increase (GRI) will take effect on November 1st  on the Asia-Europe trade lane.
    • There may be more GRIs by carriers running up to Chinese New Year. 
    • The market may not validate all increases, but spot rates could be more sustainable in the coming months.
    • Heavy blank sailings have been announced for November on the Asia – North Europe trade lane, with 19 blank sailings scheduled and space is under pressure.


  • UK road freight rates have seen their biggest increase in almost a year, climbing 3.3% month-on-month in September.
    • The increase is partly due to the reintroduction of the HGV levy, clean air charges, rising fuel prices and higher business charges.
    • In contrast to the UK, road freight rates in mainland Europe are continuing to decline. 

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.


Oct 23 – Hungary

Oct 26 – Austria

Oct 28 – Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece

Oct 30 – Ireland (Eire)

Oct 31 – Germany*, Slovenia

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

Nov 2 – Belgium*, Lithuania

Nov 4 – Finland, Sweden

Nov 9 – Spain*

Nov 11 – Austria*, Belgium, France, Poland

Nov 15 – Austria*, Belgium*

Nov 17 Friday Czech Republic, Slovakia

Nov 18 – Croatia, Latvia

Nov 20 – Latvia

Nov 22 – Germany*

Nov 30 – Romania

*Not in all regions

The route ahead

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