Decline in Global Container TEU-to-GDP Ratio

In Alphaliner’s latest report,container trade growth is slowing down, even as the global economy continues to grow. 

In the last ten years, the average ratio of container trade growth to global economic growth has dropped to 0.93x, with only 2014, 2017, and 2018 significantly exceeding 1 (1.4x, 1.8x, and 1.4x, respectively).

This is due to a number of factors, including the rise of e-commerce, the globalisation of supply chains, and the growing importance of services in the global economy. 

The outlook for the next eighteen months suggests modest growth, with container volumes at the top 30 global ports estimated to have fallen by 1% at the mid-year point due to reduced consumer spending.



Central China to USA and Europe 

  • From SHA to Europe and the US, rates have increased significantly 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 remain high and the market is tight this week.
    • This has led to flights being cancelled.
    • 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 12th November to both destinations on Korean Airlines. 
    • Space on Asiana Airlines is limited but they may take bookings on a case-by-case basis. 
  • 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 on most airlines and space is quite limited. 
  • From TAO to Europe and the US, space is tight this week but the market is stable.
    • 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, the market has become busier. 
    • 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.
    • Airlines have cancelled flights to the USA and costs are increasing on this lane. 
    • Final rates depend on a case-by-case basis. 




  • The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has announced a 15% increase in fees for northbound transits in the Suez Canal, effective from January 15.
    • These fee hikes also apply to all types of vessels except ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) ships, which will face a 5% increase.
    • Eastbound vessels returning to Asia after their last port call at the Straits of Gibraltar (e.g., Algeciras and Tanger Med) or earlier will not be subject to these fee increases.
    • Carriers operating headhaul Asia-Europe routes and certain Asia-North America east services via Suez may experience significant cost increases.
    • SCA transit fees are calculated based on vessel size, including factors like beam, draught, tonnage, and the Suez Canal Net Tonnage, which measures a vessel’s freight volume capacity.
    • Presently, fees range from $400,000 to $700,000 per transit, depending on the ship’s size, leading to potential cost increases of $60,000 to $105,000 per voyage for carriers.
    • Carriers on Asia-North Europe and Asia-Mediterranean routes may have to absorb the higher costs or consider passing them on to forwarders and shippers, possibly through new surcharges.
    • For Asia-North America trade, the fee increase might impact container supply chain dynamics, with potential shifts in route preferences and increased demand for Asia-US west coast services.


  • Here is a US port congestion update:
    • The Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach (LA/LB) has seen an increase in vessel congestion, with currently 7 vessels waiting to berth.
    • This is due to vessel bunching, which has also affected the Port of Oakland, which has 3 vessels waiting.
    • Vessel bunching at LA/LB is expected to continue for at least another week. We will keep an eye on the situation and advise alternative solutions if necessary.
    • Rail dwell from all Los Angeles ports is okay, with no delays reported.
    • The Canadian West Coast ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert are showing good turnaround times, with 2 vessels waiting at Vancouver and 0 at Prince Rupert.
    • There are still issues surrounding yard capacities at LA/LB, with both ports at 70% capacity.
    • There has been a large improvement in vessel congestion on the East Coast, with New York/New Jersey showing 2 vessels waiting and 3-day dwell on the rail.
    • There are no vessels waiting at Norfolk, Virginia, which is a first in some time.
    • The Port of Savannah is still showing some delays due to berth construction, which is expected to finish soon. Currently, there are 15 vessels waiting to berth at Savannah.


  • A breakaway barge loaded with containers caused damage to a pier along Seattle’s downtown waterfront.
    • Pier 66, situated in Seattle’s downtown waterfront, houses the Bell Street Cruise Terminal and a small recreational marina.
    • To control the barge, three tugboats were deployed, and it was subsequently towed back to Terminal 115.
    • Although there were no reports of injuries or pollution, the incident resulted in damage to the pier.
    • As a precaution, nearby buildings, including the Seattle Aquarium, were evacuated.
    • For anyone who’s shipments are going through Seattle, please be aware of this situation over the next couple of weeks. 


  • Here are some recent port updates from Hapag-Lloyd:
    • Antwerp, Belgium:
      • At PSA 913, yard utilisation has increased to 65-70%, while reefers remain at 50-55%, and empties remain at a low level of 30-35%.
      • At PSA 869, yard utilisation has slightly increased to 70-75%, reefers are at 50-55%, and empties are at 50-55% utilisation.
      • At AGW, yard utilisation stands at 60-55%, reefer plugs are at 50-55% utilisation, and empties are between 45-50%. The terminal has  received three additional gantries.
    • Rotterdam, Netherlands:
      • At the Europe Container terminals, yard utilisation remains at 55-60%. There are sufficient reefer plugs for the current demand. Equipment availability is at 100%. 
      • At the Rotterdam World Gateway, yard utilisation is stable at 55-60% and reefer plug utilisation is at a sufficient capacity of 50-55%.
      • Both terminals had to stop operations for a few hours last week due to dense fog. 


  • Major haulage firms, including AJ Maiden, AR Richards, Dale Brothers, and Kinaxia Logistics, will be present at Telford College next week.
    • Aneeta Hazir, employer partnership manager at Telford College, emphasised that this free networking event is open to both employers and individuals and is suitable for anyone considering a career in logistics.
    • The event targets individuals with HGV or forklift truck licences or those working toward obtaining these qualifications.
    • The event is a job fair encompassing various aspects of careers in driving and logistics, offering attendees the chance to explore trucks on display and receive guidance from employers and recruitment agencies on a wide range of roles.
    • The event is scheduled for Wednesday, November 8, from 2 pm to 4:30 pm at Telford College’s Wellington campus.

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.


Nov 9 – Spain*

Nov 11 – Austria*, Belgium, France, Poland

Nov 15 – Austria*, Belgium*

Nov 17 – Czech Republic, Slovakia

Nov 18 – Croatia, Latvia

Nov 20 – Latvia

Nov 22 – Germany*

Nov 30 – Romania

December 1 – Portugal, Romania

December 4 – Spain*

December 6 – Finland, Spain

December 8 – Austria, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain

December 13 – Malta

December 24 – Austria*, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg*, Slovakia, Sweden*

December 25 – 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

December 26 – 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

*Not in all regions

The route ahead

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