Sea freight market update | March 2022

Lockdowns in China softened the global market demand at the end of March, while the Russia-Ukraine conflict has an impact on fuel price.

  • Lockdowns in China

Throughout the second half of March, several major cities in China reported an increased number of COVID-19 cases. With its ‘zero-tolerance’ policy, local authorities implemented strict measures to curb the spread of the pandemic. During the lockdown in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Shanghai, even factories were not allowed to open. Overall, the production level in China has slowed down, which leads to reduced export volume and a softer market demand.

  • Russia-Ukraine conflict

DACHSER, as well as most of the international companies and carriers, decided to  stop operating services to and from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. The suspension of shipping services calling at Russia and Ukraine is resulting in a significant re-routing of cargoes. The backlog of containerized freight in ports and terminals is exacerbating, many ports and terminals are already suffering from severe congestion issues. In consequence, more shipping capacities are held up which causes further pressure on the supply of tonnage. Freight rates are expected to keep at sky-high levels.

Additionally, the skyrocketing fuel price has forced carriers to adjust their bunker surcharges. In April, the adjusted bunker surcharges will have an impact on the overall rate level.

  • Trade Lane Update

EUROPE

Port Congestion EMEA

  • Belgium                  Antwerp 5 days
  •                                  Zeebrugge 1 day
  • Germany                Bremerhaven 12 days
  •                                  Hamburg 5 days                                
  •                                  Wilhelmshaven 3 days
  • Italy                         Trieste 2 days
  • Netherlands           Rotterdam 7 days
  • Slovenia                  Koper 7 days

Europe - Far East

Space is available, but empty equipment is tense, especially in some of the inland ports.

Europe - South America East & West Coast

Space is partly available,  however, the West Coast becomes more tight in space. Empty equipment availability in North Europe is more or less stable but slightly tight in the hinterland area. It is recommended to place bookings 4-6 weeks in advance.

Europe – Mexico

Empty equipment availability in North Europe has been worsening, driven by a lack of supply from one of the carriers, which leads to shortages across the market. The situation is expected to improve at the end of March. Space is still under pressure and rates are increasing. Vessels’ turnaround is still slow and capacities are not yet restored to normal.

Europe – Indian Subcontinent

Space is available and empty equipment availability in North Europe is improving.

ASIA

Port Congestion Asia

  • China Mainland             Dalian / Hong Kong / Nansha / Ningbo / Shanghai / Shekou /                                          Qingdao / Xingang / Yantian: 7-10 days
  •                                          Nanjing / Xiamen: no congestion
  • India Subcontinent       Chittagong: 1-2 days. All other ports: no congestion
  • Indonesia                       Jakarta / Surabaya / Semarang: 2-3 days
  • Korea                              Busan / Incheon: 5-7 days
  • Malaysia                         5-7 days      
  • Singapore                      2-3 days due to port congestion
  •                                          Transshipment cargoes rolling 7-14 days in Singapore, depending on carrier
  • Taiwan                            Keelung / Kaohsiung / Taichung: 3-7 days
  • Thailand                         Bangkok: 7-10 days
  •                                          Laem Chabang: 2-3 days
  • Vietnam                          Haiphong Export / Import: 4-5 days
  •                                          Saigon Export / Import: 7-10 days

Far East - Europe

Space is very limited, as well as empty equipment availability. With the lockdowns in Shenzhen and Dongguan and most recently in Shanghai, the overall productivity from China is slowing down at the end of March. As a consequence, production delays and disruptions are to be expected.

Pick-ups and deliveries in China are also a challenge due to COVID-19 related measures, some truck drivers are quarantined, and highways are heavily restricted with checkpoints to verify drivers’ testing reports.

DACHSER launches a new LCL service from Ningbo/Shanghai to Copenhagen/Gothenburg. The direct LCL service effectively cuts down transit time and saves logistics costs. Read more.

Far East - South America East Coast

Space remains tight, as well as empty equipment availability, especially for 40’ equipment in North China. Therefore, it is recommended to place bookings 4 weeks in advance.

Indian Subcontinent – Europe

Space remains tight,  and carriers strictly control it. Empty equipment availability is still tight on India East Coast, whereas it is improving on India West Coast.

Transpacific Eastbound

Equipment availability remains under pressure in China. However, the lockdowns in China are slowing down the overall productivity at the end of this month. Production delays and disruptions are to be expected. Rates remain at a high level and may increase in the coming weeks as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and production rebounds. Capacity is tight; therefore, it is recommended to place bookings 4-6 weeks in advance.

Schedule integrity remains unsteady, as the turnaround time of the vessels is still slow. Port congestion has spread from Los Angeles to the East Coast. Charleston and Norfolk started to be heavily congested and therefore should be avoided. The development of a possible rail strike in Canada may have an impact on shipments to the US West Coast. As an alternative to the equipment shortage for full container shipments, DACHSER is offering its expedited LCL service on the transpacific route.

DACHSER expedited LCL Service

DACHSER offers an expedited LCL service from China to the U.S. West Coast, which is a reliable alternative for customers to avoid congestion issues. The weekly scheduled direct expedited LCL service reduces transit times by 3-7 days. Please do not hesitate to contact your local DACHSER sales team to get further information about the LCL service.

AMERICA

Port Congestion in North America

West coast

  • Los Angeles                   20-25 days waiting time to berth
  • Oakland                         20 days waiting time to berth
  • Tacoma                          waiting time insignificant
  • Seattle                            35 days waiting time to berth

East Coast

  • Boston                           Situation fluid
  • New York                       11 days waiting time to berth due to bad weather
  • Baltimore                       Situation fluid
  • Norfolk                           10 days waiting time to berth
  • Charleston                     16 days waiting time to berth
  • Savannah                       waiting time insignificant
  • Jacksonville                    Situation fluid
  • Miami                              Situation fluid
  • Mobile                             Situation fluid
  • Houston                          waiting time insignificant

Transatlantic

Empty equipment availability in North Europe has been worsening, driven by a lack of supply from one of the carriers, which leads to shortages across the market. The situation is expected to improve at the end of March. Space is still under pressure and rates are increasing. Vessels’ turnaround is still slow and capacities are not yet restored to normal. Overall, US container transports remain challenging, as the availability of chassis is still an issue and trucking costs are increasing.

  • Container Indexes

Click the button below to read the current development on the World Container Index and Shanghai Containerized Freight Index.

If you would like to discuss your transport needs, please get in touch with your local DACHSER representative to work out the best logistics solution.

Container Indexes PDF (0,12 MB)
Contact Katrine Cheng