Canal news and trade lane announcements

The industry as a whole breathed a collective sigh of relief as Xin Hai Tong 23, a 189m, Hong-Kong-flagged geared bulker was refloated from the Suez Canal. The ship was stuck for approximately 2 hours resulting in minor delays.

In other canal news, the Panama canal continues to be impacted by ongoing drought. The lower water levels means ships are required to reduce their weight by either carrying less cargo or lighter cargo, to avoid becoming grounded.

Some carriers have begun to add surcharges to cargo which passes through the canal to account for the increased capacity required to transport freight through this route. Others are exploring alternate routing options to avoid the canal altogether, fearing the situation may deteriorate in future. On an annual basis, roughly 5% of global maritime trade passes through the canal and as such it is critical to monitor how this situation will develop in the future.

And lastly, MSC has announced it will relaunch its Asia to North Europe Swan-service, as a standalone MSC service. The Swan service was originally a 2M service suspended in May 2020 but will relaunch on the 9th July. The service will connect ports across China, Poland and Belgium, among other countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.



  • Guangzhou Port has announced an investment of over $280 million (USD) in developing a shipping and port complex in its sub-port, Nansha.
    • The complex will occupy an area of 76,000-square metre and will comprise office and residential units for shipping and logistics.
  • It is anticipated that PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index)  data from China will show a contraction of activity for May
    • The PMI measures the health of the manufacturing sector in a country.
    • Analysts have predicted the index will reflect a contraction for the second consecutive month when the figures are released on 31st Wednesday. 
    • Some industry observers take this as an indication that China is struggling to bounce out of the COVID-19 pandemic-affected slump.


  • The top three biggest ports in the US have reported volume gains for the second consecutive month.
    • The Port of LA, the Port of Long Beach and the Port of New York have also reported a month-on-month volume increase of approximately 10%, 8.7% and 12% respectively. 
    • While the volumes are still significantly down year on year, April and March have both seen volume increases. 
  • US consumer spending has risen in April according to new data for the US commerce department.
    • Consumer spending jumped 0.8% in April following a 0.1% gain in March.
    • Fuelling this jump was an increase in pharmaceutical purchases as well as light trucks. 
    • Wage growth in both March and April has contributed to this stronger than anticipated level of consumer spending which is also being reflected in an uptick of imported goods, which climbed 1.8% in April.


  • The Port of Gothenburg has signed a sister port agreement with the Port of Shenzhen
    • The agreement is aimed at increased cooperation between the two ports on sustainable transport, volume growth, and new technology development. 
    • The Port of Shenzhen is the fourth-largest port in the world.
    • China is Sweden’s eighth-largest trading partner.


  • The port of Liverpool is constructing a new warehousing facility.
    • Peel port is investing £28 million pounds in the new 240,000sq ft warehouse at Alexandra Dock, with construction beginning this week.
    • The new facility will be used for the handling and storage of cargo at the port.
    • David Huck, Chief Operating Officer at Peel Ports Group, said “We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for warehousing, and this huge new facility provides an opportunity for new customers looking for capacity to grow their business”.
    • The project is planned to be completed in April 2024.

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 31 – Spain*

June 1 – Romania

June 2 – Italy, Romania*

June 4 – Greece, Lithuania, Romania

June 5 – Cyprus, Denmark*, Greece, Ireland (Eire), Romania

June 6 – Sweden

June 7 – Malta

June 8 – Austria, Croatia, Germany*, Poland, Portugal, Spain*

June 9 – Spain*

June 10 – Portugal

June 13 – Portugal*, Spain*

June 22 – Croatia

June 23 – Estonia, Finland*, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden*

June 24 – Estonia, Finland*, Latvia, Luxembourg, Spain*, Sweden*

June 25 – Slovenia

June 29 – Italy*, Malta, Spain*

July 5 – Czech Republic, Slovakia 

July 6 – Czech Republic, Lithuania

July 11 – Belgium*

July 14 – France

July 21 – Belgium

July 25 – Spain*

July 28 – Spain*

May 29 – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands

May 30 – Croatia, 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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