In Focus: An Update on the Red Sea

Happy Holidays to all of our readers of our Weekly Market Update. We would like to round off our final edition of the year with an update of the situation in the Red Sea. 

60 vessels on Asia Westbound have been rerouted via the Cape of Good Hope.

MSC and Asian carriers have rerouted 100% of their vessels via the Cape of Good Hope. Maersk has rerouted 50% of their vessels and CMA CGM have rerouted 30% of their ships.

Transit times are taking an additional 7 days each way due to the rerouting. Carriers like CMA CGM and Maersk are trying to go through the Suez Canal on the way back to Asia to repatriate equipment as quickly as possible. CMA CGM is escorting all vessels on FAL1 and FAL3 through the Suez Canal. There is a shortage of container capacity starting in some ports of loading in Asia, and some carriers are leasing containers until the end of the month to meet demand.

All rates, including spot and contract, on the Asia-Europe lane are increasing significantly due to General Rate Increases (GRIs) and emergency peak season surcharges which have a validity of two weeks. 

The disruption does not only concern the Asia-Europe trade lane, it has also impacted other major trades as peak season surcharges are also happening on other trades. 

We advise you to speak to your freight forwarder if you have any further questions. 

If you are a Zencargo customer, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager.



Central China to USA and Europe 

  • From SHA to Europe and the US, the market is quiet at the moment due to the holidays. 
    • Rates may increase slightly over the weekend. 
  • From NGB to Europe and the USA, the market is stable and rates have decreased. 
    • We suggest booking space 4-5 days prior to the cargo ready date.

North China to USA and Europe:

  • From TSN to Europe and the US, rates have decreased for Korean Airlines to both destinations.
    • Asiana Airlines rates depend on a case-by-case basis but there is space available. 
  • From PEK to Europe and the US, rates have  decreased on most major airlines compared to last week.
    • Major services from PEK to Europe include: Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Air China, KLM, Air France, Japan Airlines.
      • It is advised to book space 3-4 days ahead of the cargo ready date. 
    • Major services from PEK to the US include: Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Eva Air. 
      • It is advised to book space 5-6 days ahead of the cargo ready date. 
  • From TAO to Europe and the US, there is more space available and rates have decreased this week. 
    • From TAO to the US, ETD is 3-5 days after booking. 
    • Spot rates are available for dense cargo.

South China to USA and Europe:

  • From CAN to Europe and the USA, there have been no major updates in terms of space. 
    • 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, the market is less busy this week due to the holidays. 
    • 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, demand has eased.  
    • Space continues to be limited. 
    • Final rates depend on a case-by-case basis.


  • The Port of New Orleans has secured a $74 million grant from a 2021 Infrastructure Act for improving America’s ports, waterways, railways and roads. 
    • The current terminal has physical limitations in terms of depth and overhead clearance which restricts its ability to handle modern, bigger ships.
    • The grant will be used for planning the development of a new container terminal in St. Bernard Parish and will help facilitate a $1.8 billion terminal project to help the port compete with Houston and Mobile.


  • Here are the latest port updates from Hapag Lloyd: 
    • Antwerp, Belgium.
      • PSA 913: Yard utilisation is at 75% -80%. Reefers are at 55% – 60% and empties at 20% – 25%.
      • PSA 869: Yard utilisation is currently at 80% – 85%. Reefers are at 35% – 40% and empties remain stable at 35% – 40% utilisation. 
      • AGW: At Antwerp Gateways yard utilisation is at 60% – 65%. Reefer plugs are at 60% – 65% and empties are currently at 30% – 35%.  The terminal has received 3 additional gantries which are fully operational.
      • Closing times include:
        • New Year’s closing dates: 31/12 13:30 – 01/01 14:00 (voluntary work)
        • New Year’s closing: 31/12 15:30 – 01/01 14:00
    • Rotterdam, Netherlands
      • ECT: Yard utilisation is at 60% – 65%. There are sufficient reefer plugs for the current demand and empties are under control.
      • RWG: Yard utilisation is currently at 60% – 65%. Reefer plug utilisation is at 50% – 55% and the berth is almost fully utilised by back-to-back vessel calls. There have been operational challenges  at the beginning of the week due to strong winds however, there has been no backlog. 
      • Closing times include:
        • ECT: New Year’s closing dates: 31/12 15:15 – 01/01 15:15.
        • RWG: New Year’s closing dates: 31/12 15:00 – 01/01 15:00.


  • UK haulage rates in November increased but remained below November rates from the past two years. 
    • According to TEG Road Transport, the average haulage and courier vehicle price per mile index over last month increased  from 120.5 to 122.2 in the UK. 
    • This may be down due to a significant jump in courier prices, however, haulage prices have also risen. 
    • Compared to last year, the overall price of road haulage has dropped 1.4 points from 123.6 in November 2022 to 122.2 in November 2023. 

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.


December 31 – Latvia, Sweden*

January 1 – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (Eire), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

Jan 2 – Romania, Slovenia

Jan 6 – Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany*, Greece, Italy, Poland, romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden

Jan 7 – Romania

Jan 24 – Romania

Feb 5 – Ireland (Eire)

Feb 8 – Slovenia

Feb 10 – Malta

Feb 12 – Luxembourg*

Feb 13 – Portugal*, Spain*

Feb 16 – Lithuania 

Feb 24 – Estonia

Feb 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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