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Freight Market Update: February 20, 2024

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Ocean freight market update

China-North America

  • Rate changes: For ocean freight from Asia to the US, rates to the West Coast have seen an upward adjustment of approximately 11%, indicative of the market’s response to increased demand and operational factors. East Coast rates also increased, but at a lesser rate of about 3%, reflecting a more stable market condition in comparison. These changes suggest a nuanced market, with varying pressures across different coasts.
  • Market changes: The operational landscape is adjusting to post-Lunar New Year dynamics and recent geopolitical events, leading to an easing in some operational pressures but also introducing new challenges, such as equipment availability and transit delays, that could influence future rate movements and capacity planning.


  • Rate changes: Rates from Asia to Northern Europe have experienced a slight decrease, in the realm of 8%, as market conditions begin to stabilize post-peak fluctuations. Similarly, rates to the Mediterranean have also decreased by about 7%, indicating a trend towards market equilibrium as supply and demand forces find a new balance.
  • Market changes: European ports are managing increased volumes efficiently, avoiding significant congestion. This operational resilience is contributing to a more stable market environment, though carriers and shippers remain vigilant about potential disruptions from ongoing geopolitical tensions and logistical challenges.

Air freight/Express market update

China-US and Europe

  • Rate changes: Air freight rates from China to North America have shown a notable decrease, by approximately 35%, reflecting a post-peak adjustment and better alignment of supply with demand. Rates to Europe, conversely, have seen an increase, suggesting a tighter market with stronger demand, although the exact proportion of this increase is subject to market fluctuations and specific lane dynamics.
  • Market changes: The air freight sector is adapting to changing market conditions, with a focus on enhancing operational efficiency and sustainability. Despite facing capacity constraints and regulatory pressures, the industry is exploring innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of global trade, particularly in response to the e-commerce boom and the need for flexible supply chains.

Disclaimer: All information and views in this post are provided for reference purposes only and do not constitute any investment or purchase advice. The information quoted in this report is from public market documents and may be subject to change. Alibaba.com makes no warranties or guarantees for the accuracy or integrity of the information above.

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