In Focus: Restocking increases demand

Demand has spiked in June and July due to restocking activities. Retailers have increased their buffer stock to prepare for longer voyages. Additionally, some retailers are anticipating a peak season which means that they have booked orders in advance.

Exacerbating the crunch is the fact that the three alliances are still short of 36 ships to fully operate their 25 Asia-Europe loops. Continuing port congestion issues are delaying vessels, with 5.7% of the global container fleet capacity tied up in congestion in April, according to Sea Intelligence.

New GRIs are expected to materialise in the coming weeks, with carriers increasing spot rates by selecting higher-paying cargo, amending contracts, charging guaranteed space premiums, or adjusting space allocations.

  • There is significant overcapacity on the Asia-Europe route, with excess demand anticipated in June.
  • Rates continue to increase in June due to strong demand.
  • Space is fully booked until mid-June. Equipment issues are affecting the majority of carriers, causing further constraints​​​​.
  • The choice of routing around the Cape of Good Hope instead of the Suez Canal has resulted in longer transit times​​.

Central China to Europe (SHA/NGB):

  • SHA: The market is dominated by e-commerce cargo, leading to slightly increased rates. As China will be closed on 10th June for the Dragon Festival Holiday, bookings for next week are unknown.
  • NGB: Rates remain stable but depend on flight availability. Bookings should be checked on a case-by-case basis for the best spot rates​​.

North China to Europe (TSN/DLC/PEK/TAO):

  • TSN: Rates are high and fluctuating, with tight market conditions compared to last week. Competitive rates are available from specific airlines but require advance booking​​.
  • DLC/PEK: Rates are fluctuating with most airlines. Dense cargo can apply for spot rates, and bookings should be made well in advance due to tight space​​.
  • TAO: The market to the EU is tight this week. It will be harder to arrange for large volume shipments. Air freight rates continue to rise since the end of May.

South China to Europe (CAN/SZX/XMN):

  • CAN: The market is tight with airlines cancelling flights.
  • SZX: Market conditions are stable with all shipments requiring carrier checks case by case.
  • XMN: Market conditions remain stable compared to last week, but e-commerce cargo is increasing, potentially raising costs.
  • Capacity remains tight across all Asia-USA routes, with significant constraints expected to persist. The strong demand is driven by peak season preparations and restocking activities​​​​.
  • Increases in rates are noted for the first half of June, with spot rates seeing substantial hikes. 
  • Port congestion is high across the US, with some improvements noted on the US West Coast. Specific ports like Los Angeles/Long Beach are experiencing delays, with 1 vessel waiting to berth and a 7-day dwell time on rail terminals​​​​.

Central China to USA (SHA/NGB)

  • SHA: The market is stable this week. Rates have slightly increased and due to the Dragon Festival on 10th June, bookings for next week are unknown. 
  • NGB: Rates remain the same this week  and depend on flight availability. Final rates are determined on a case-by-case basis​​.

North China to USA (TSN/DLC/PEK/TAO)

  • TSN: Rates from Korean Airlines have increased and are fluctuating. Space is tight and advanced booking is essential. Competitive rates from Japan Airlines are available for volume cargo​​ to the East Coast.
  • DLC/PEK: Rates with most airlines are increasing, with dense cargo applying for spot rates. Booking needs to be done 7- 10 days in advance due to tight space​​.
  • TAO: The market is hot this week and space is tight. Spot rates are available for dense cargo on a case-by-case basis​​.

South China to USA (CAN/SZX/XMN)

  • CAN: Space is tight as some airlines have cancelled flights.
  • SZX: Rates have increased slightly this week. All shipments need to be checked with the carrier case by case.
  • XMN: The market is stable, but e-commerce cargo is increasing, potentially raising costs.


  • Supply and demand are well balanced on the Transatlantic trade lane. Rates have remained relatively stable but this may slightly increase due to continued tight capacity. 
  • Several carriers have announced GRIs for June due to the increased demand and equipment imbalances​​.
  • Improvements in the Panama Canal operations are providing some relief, increasing daily transits due to better weather conditions, aiming to reach 32 transits per day by June. Full operational capacity is expected to be restored by early 2025, which should help alleviate some of the current constraints
  • There have been modest improvements in global schedule reliability, which have had a beneficial impact on the Transatlantic routes. 
    • The last month saw 47 cancelled sailings out of 643 scheduled sailings, with 17% of these blank sailings affected Transatlantic Westbound Route


  • Los Angeles/Long Beach: 1 vessel waiting to berth with a 7-day dwell time on rail terminals. Yard capacity is 70% full​​.
  • Oakland: 4 vessels waiting to berth with a 7-day dwell time on rail terminals​​.
  • Seattle/Tacoma: No vessels waiting to berth​​.
  • Vancouver (Canadian West Coast): 1 vessel waiting to berth with a 7-day dwell time on rail terminals. Yard capacity is 70% full​​.
  • New York/ New Jersey: 4 vessels waiting to berth with a 3-day dwell time on rail terminals. Yard capacity is 60% full​​.
  • Norfolk: 3 vessels waiting to berth with a 3-day dwell time on rail terminals​​. Charleston: 10 vessels waiting to berth with a 6-day dwell time on rail terminals​​.
  • Savannah: 9 vessels waiting to berth with a 2-day dwell time on rail terminals​​.



Antwerp, Belgium: 

  • PSA 913: Yard fully repaired after last year’s crane collapse accident. Yard utilisation at 75-80%, with reefers at 75-80%​​.
  • PSA 869: Yard utilisation at 70-75%, with reefers at 55-60%​​.

AGW (Antwerp Gateway)

  • Yard utilisation at 60-65%, with reefer plugs at 50-55%​​.

Rotterdam, Netherlands:

  • ECT: Yard utilisation at 65-70%, partially driven by yard block maintenance. No operational impacts​​.
  • RWG: Yard utilisation at 75-80%, with no operational challenges​​.
United Kingdom


  • Record numbers of commercial vehicles are in use with 625,873 HGVs and 5,012,632 vans in operation​​.
  • Electric van volumes have increased by 43.5%, reaching 61,161, with 1.2% of vans now being zero-emission​​ while electric HGVs increased by 146.4% in 2023, though they represent only 0.4% of the fleet​​.

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.

June 5 – Denmark*, Faroe Islands*

June 6 – Sweden

June 7 – Isle of Man, Malta 

June 9 – Aland (Ahvenanmaa)

June 10 – Portugal, Spain*

June 12 – Russia

June 13 – Portugal*, Spain*

June 15 – Türkiye* 

June 16 – Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina (FBIhH)*, Kosovo, North Cyprus, Türkiye

June 17 – Albania, Gibraltar, Iceland, Kosovo, North Cyprus, Spain*, Spain*, Türkiye

June 18 – North Cyprus, Türkiye

June 19 – North Cyprus, Türkiye

June 21 – Finland*, Greenland*, Sweden*, Åland

June 22 – Croatia, Finland, Sweden, Åland

June 23 – Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Romania, Switzerland*, Ukraine

June 24 – Andorra*, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Spain*

June 25 – Slovenia

June 28 – Bosnia and Herzegovina

June 29 – Vatican City, Italy*, Malta, Switzerland*

*Not in all regions

The route ahead

The information that is available in the Zencargo 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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