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Freight Market Update - November 23 2023



August 2023

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Freight Market Update - November 23 2023

From the Editor’s Desk


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Key takeaways for the US

  • A few Chinese ports have been closed due to dense fog
  • Maersk and Zim to suspend TP23 services from Asia to the USA
  • Carriers are shifting vessels from the Transpacific lines to Europe and USA
  • 30+ vessels await the berth at the Savannah Port. Yet, the Charleston Port is still a good alternative to the Savannah Port

Read on for more in-depth updates.

Ocean Freight Market Update

Asia → North America

U.S / CA 

Shanghai and Ningbo Ports have been closed due to dense fog in China. The entire region has been closed off and some small ports have been shut due to the fog hazards.

Above this, Maersk and Zim recently announced the suspension of their TP23 service from Asia to the USA.

This resulted in the US imports from Asia reducing to their all-time lowest level. In October, it faced the lowest level in twenty months.

Furthermore, in the trade of Asia-USWC, we have noticed an enhanced spot rate. It has effectively crossed the breakeven point and there is no more scope for reductions. This means that further reductions need to be controlled.

The number of blanked sailings on the TOP trade has also gone up for the upcoming weeks. This is a result of carriers wishing to be profitable and thereby not sailing capacity at a loss.


Rates: US shipping is more stable at the East Coast rate compared to the West Coast rate. US imports from China continue to stay at the same levels as in September.

Space: Spaces are open as the demand is low.

Recommendation: We recommend blank sailings to continue. Book at least two weeks before the date your cargo gets ready.

Turkey → North America

  • The capacity is remarkably increasing owing to various reasons.

  • From this week onwards, capacity to the United States East Coast (USEC) will increase with new vessels. These vessels will shift the market from the Transpacific route.

  • Due to poor maintenance and a shortage of labor, the US ports continue to witness congestion.


Rates: The rates are notably stable.

Space: Spaces are open.

Equipment and Capacity: There are no significant issues with capacity except for Hapag Lloyd. In this case, almost 40 HC equipment have been constrained for the Iskenderun Port. 

North America → Turkey

  • The West Coast ports continue to witness a labor shortag

  • Nevertheless, there isn’t much congestion (almost none) on the West Coast ports except for Oakland

  • Canadian ports and rail ramps still have some congestion. The yard utilization facilities at Vancouver remain at a remarkably high point (>90%)


Rates: Stable rates in the recent course.

Space for capacity and equipment: No capacity issues and it remains open for Turkey. The CMA is joining hands with the EMA and is adding an additional vessel to the East Med.

Houston Port Fee Updates and Terminal Timings

  • Houston Port has recently introduced a new fee titled the “sustained import dwell fee.” This additional cost is set to be borne by the cargo owners, emphasizing their accountability towards this financial shift. Originally slated to commence on December 1, the activation of this fee has experienced a delay. The specific initiation date is on hold, with the port assuring stakeholders of a 30-day advance intimation prior to its implementation.
  • A significant note for shippers and cargo operators revolves around the container terminal gates timings. These gates at the Houston Port will be operational on Sundays between 08:00 and 17:00, extending up to December 18. However, the schedule beyond this period is yet to be announced. This extended timing strategy has been adopted to alleviate congestion and pave the way for smoother truck movements within the terminal.
  • For those looking to move East Coast freight efficiently, Charleston currently stands out as the most recommended routing destination.

US Domestic Trucking Market Trends

  • The effects of the winter season are beginning to appear in the Midwest, Central, and Northeast regions.

  • Since the holiday season is fast approaching, we expect rates to potentially rise slightly but significantly.

  • This is because carriers and capacity are directionally focused and will be affected by the prevailing climates.

  • There is a continual increase in Highway Diesel fuel prices as well. This can be expected to keep increasing in the future to come.

Parting Thoughts

After perusing the given updates, we can conclude that the market is steadily improving with good progress despite the dense fog. One needs to be careful about the routes they pick for their cargo movement. Charleston is the most recommended route at the moment considering the circumstances.

Some regions are facing congestion but other ports are compensating for it. By choosing the right vessels and ports for export and shipping, we can optimize the outcome of these situations.

We can expect a steady and consistent increase in the market owing to these trends. It is all a matter of accurate research and informed decision-making.

We are grateful that you perused our newsletter till the end. Be sure to subscribe to us and stay notified about the latest weekly market updates.

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