Post-pandemic schedule reliability on the Asia-Europe trade

In a comprehensive analysis by Sea-Intelligence of post-pandemic schedule reliability on Asia-Europe trade routes, three major carrier alliances— The 2M, Ocean Alliance, and THE Alliance—were assessed for their rate of recovery and ability to return to pre-pandemic schedule adherence levels.

The analysis revealed diverse recovery capabilities among the three carrier alliances following the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Notably, the 2M demonstrated rapid enhancements in schedule reliability after dropping to its lowest point during the pandemic. Whilst they continued to make rapid improvements on Asia – North Europe, the rate of recovery has slowed for the Asia-Mediterranean lane. 

The Ocean Alliance has consistently maintained improvements, while THE Alliance showcased a relatively slower rate of recovery on the Asia-North Europe route, although this has picked up in recent months.



  • Ningbo Zhoushan Port in East China’s Zhejiang province has recently secured a top position among China’s ports. 
    • Cargo throughput for the first seven months is 789.52 million metric tons with an annual increase of 5%
    • Meanwhile, container throughput came to 20.86 million TEUs, ranking second in the country.
    • The port has benefited from 20 measures implemented by Ningbo Customs to enhance the business environment and facilitate cross-border trade, significantly supporting its development.
    • Currently, the port offers a network of 301 container shipping routes, including 249 international routes and 125 routes connected to countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.


Central China to USA and Europe 

  • From SHA to Europe and the US, rates are increasing this week. 
    • Rates have increased because of the typhoon and space is also tight. 
    • On the SHA to US trade lane, space to LAX is limited.
  • From NGB to Europe and the US, rates have increased. 
    • Please check with your freight forwarding partner on a case-by-case basis. 

North China to USA and Europe:

  • From TSN to Europe and the US, Korean Airlines’ service has returned to normal.
    • Rates have increased on both lanes. 
  • From PEK to Europe and the US, hot weather is currently causing 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. 
    • However there is slight disruption due to summer weather and aircraft maintenance. 
  • From TAO to Europe and the US, rates have remained stable this week.
    • Rates remain the same to the US East Coast, but have increased slightly to the US West Coast.

South China to USA and Europe:

  • From CAN to Europe and the US, rates are increasing as the market is now in peak season. 
    • All shipments will need to be checked with the carrier for rates on a case-by-case basis.
  • From SZX to Europe, rates have remained stable, while to the US, rates have increased slightly. 
    • All shipments will need to be checked with the carrier for rates on a case-by-case basis.
  • From XMN to the EU, rates have increased but they remain stable to London Heathrow. 
  • Rates from XMN to the US are the same as last week but space is tight due to the typhoon cancelling more flights. 


  • A new collective labour agreement was approved last week between US West Coast dock worker members of the ILWU and terminal employers, represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).
    • The new contract was ratified by 75% of ILWU membership and the new contract is retroactive to July 1, 2022, and valid until July 1, 2028.
    • The contract will help the US West Coast to efficiently handle capacity growth and maintain competitiveness for west coast ports.
  • Meanwhile, the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA), representing over 80,000 dockers in east and Gulf coast ports, is preparing for negotiations with the US Maritime Alliance (USMX) for their collective bargaining agreement, set to expire on September 30, 2024.


  • Here are some operational updates from Hapag Lloyd:
    • At the PSA 913 Terminal in Antwerp, yard utilisation has reduced compared to last week to 50-55% and reefer utilisation has also decreased and is now between 50-55%. 
    • At the PSA 869 terminal in Antwerp, yard utilisation remains unchanged and is between 50-55% and reefer utilisation has reduced, coming in at 35-40%. 
      • There are ongoing civil works at the terminal, reducing berths by 400 metres. This is not impacting operations. 
    • At the Antwerp Gateways Terminal, yard utilisation has gone up to 60-65% and reefer plug utilisation is between 40-45%. 
      • The terminal has received three additional gantries which will be in full operation in September. 
    • At the Rotterdam ECT Container Terminals, yard utilisation is between 45-50% and there are gaps in the berth line-up, allowing for extra vessel calls. 
      • Over the past few weeks, the berth line-up has been busy, but this is expected to relax and normalise by next week. 
      • Equipment availability continues to struggle. 
    • At the Rotterdam World Gateway, yard utilisation is between 55-60% and reefer plug utilisation is between 50-55%. 
      • Labour levels are good and there are no operational problems reported. 
  • A report by Oxford Economics for Logistics UK suggests that targeted government investment and improved logistics could boost the UK’s GDP by £3.9 billion annually by 2030.
    • Challenges like border friction and insufficient investment in infrastructure, innovation, and skills are hindering the logistics sector’s ability to support economic efficiency.
    • The UK currently ranks 19th in World Bank logistics rankings, down from an average of 6th between 2012 and 2018.
    • Returning to the top ten could increase GDP, household income, and tax revenue.
    • To achieve these gains, the logistics sector needs infrastructure improvements, reduced border friction, skills development, and innovation investment.

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.

Aug 29 – Slovakia

Sep 1 – Slovakia

Sep 2 – Spain*

Sep 4 – Luxembourg*

Sep 6 – Bulgaria

Sep 8 – Malta, Spain*

Sep 11 – Spain*

Sep 15 – Slovakia, Spain*

Sep 18 – Switzerland*

Sep 20 – Germany*

Sep 21 – Malta

Sep 22 – Bulgaria

Sep 24 – Austria*

Sep 25 – Switzerland*

Sep 27 – Belgium*, North Cyprus

Sep 28 – Czech Republic

Oct 1 – Cyprus, San Marino

Oct 3 – Germany

Oct 5 – Portugal

Oct 9 – Spain*

Oct 10 – Austria*

Oct 12 – Spain

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

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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