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Market Update

Freight Market Update - January 4, 2023



August 2023

8 min read


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Freight Market Update - January 4, 2023

From the Editor’s Desk


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Key takeaways for the US

  • China’s struggle to combat COVID and the inclement weather.
  • Unsuitable weather conditions in Korea for vessel operations.
  • ONE line Charleston service has been opened.

Read on for more in-depth updates

Ocean Freight Market Updates

Asia to North America


COVID issues and poor weather conditions

  • Heavy berth congestion witnessed in Shanghai and Ningbo. 
  • Among all terminals, there is a waiting delay of 1.5-2 days. 
  • Additionally, poor weather conditions have caused a backlog of vessels. 
  • This bad weather and COVID issues have been noted in several areas. 
  • Strong winds affected China and Korean ports. 
  • Due to this, some ports remained closed for 1-2 days. There was also a reduction in manpower and productivity due to which vessels had extended port stays. 
  • Several Chinese drivers were unable to work due to COVID and there were delays in pickup and deliveries. 
  • All Japanese ports were closed between 31 December 2022 to 2 January 2023 due to New Year celebrations. 
  • Normal working and various shifts will resume from 5 January 2023 onwards after the special days have ended. 
  • Blank sailings are the new normal for Asia and are proceeding similarly to the previous month.


Rates - The rates will remain the same until the middle of January. This is owing to low movement in the market.

Space - Space open, no issues with equipment.

Recommendations - We recommend blank sailings to continue. Book at least two weeks prior to the date your vessel gets ready to depart.

Turkey to North America

  • ONE Line capacity has increased for North America. 
  • They have put Charleston on their service once again. 
  • The congestion in Savannah continues to improve. 
  • Only seven vessels are at anchor and have a dwell of a maximum of one week. 
  • NYC vessels have a decreased dwell. However, it might reach up to three or more days in the near future. 
  • Norfolk vessels at Anchor have increased to seven due to the ongoing NO work union holidays. 
  • Savannah’s berth congestion is improving steadily. Only seven vessels are at Anchor with a dwell down to just seven days. 


Rates - Rates are dropping constantly. 

Space for capacity - No capacity issues or issues with space. 

Space for equipment - No issues with equipment. 

North America to Turkey 

  • Rail inventory levels and terminal dwells continue to drop. 
  • In general terms, there is surplus rail capacity and operations are clean to conclude the year 2022. 


Rates - Stable rates over the last week. 

Space for capacity - Some intermodal terminals are heavily congested. However, there is no major capacity or space issue. 

Space for equipment - Equipment issues have started owing to low levels of import.

Terminal Updates 

  • Houston port authority has announced that they will be moving forward with the decided Sustained Import Dwell Fee. 
  • This will be effective from February 1, 2023, onwards. 
  • It is around $45 per container per day. It will be applied at the Barbours Cut Terminal and the Bayport Container Terminal. 
  • This fee will be applied for any import cargo on the eighth day after the expiration of free time. 
  • The fee acts as an addition to any demurrage charges incurred. 
  • San Antonio is still the lone hotspot on the network. 
  • It has been reported to have various significant chassis shortages. 
  • The number of vessels in the queue at Los Angeles is stable at five. 
  • They have a berth on arrival conditions while factoring in slow streaming vehicles from Asia. 
  • There are around 45 vessels in total. 
  • Oakland vessels at Anchor are stable at three. 
  • Their dwell time is decreasing to three days for JAX and less than two days.

US Domestic Trucking Market Trends 

  • The lack of imports is resulting in a few equipment deficits. 
  • These are relative to continued export demand at certain locations. 
  • The flatbed load posts decreased by 19% last week during the end of 2022. It was just over 70% lower than the previous year. 
  • Despite flatbed carrier equipment posts dropping by 38% w/w, they remained at their highest level in six years. 
  • The drop was due to carriers taking time off over the break. 
  • Due to this, last week’s Load To Truck (LTR) ratio increased from 10.92 to 14.21. 
  • This has been the second-lowest LTR level recorded for flatbeds in the last six years during this time of the year. 
  • In terms of spot rates, flatbed linehaul rates have increased between Christmas and New Year 2022. 
  • This was following last week’s $0.06/mile w/w gain. 
  • The national average flatbed rate ended in 2022 at around $2.22/mile. 
  • This is just over $0.50/mile lower than what was recorded the previous year. 
  • Last week’s average spot rate was around $0.24/mile higher than the same week in pre-pandemic years.

Final Thoughts

With the given updates, we can safely conclude that the market is faring well with a sufficient supply of equipment and capacity.

Some areas have been badly affected due to the rise of COVID and inclement weather. It is mostly witnessed in China and Korea. There is also the added burden of the special days and the break after New Year when workers don’t arrive at work.

This has resulted in various congestion and increased waiting times for vessels. We can hope to get back on track after the first week of January. It is best to make informed decisions and choose ports that are open and without space or equipment issues. It will help you import or export without the hassle and through sufficient manpower.

We can expect a steady and consistent increase in the market owing to these trends which are bound to change in the upcoming days. With that being said, 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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