Home » Logistics » Market Updates » Freight Market Update: July 4, 2024

Freight Market Update: July 4, 2024

cargo container ship

Ocean Freight Market Update

China-North America

Rate changes: Ocean freight rates from China to the US West Coast increased modestly in the past week, rising by nearly 3%. Similarly, the rates to the US East Coast saw a smaller but notable increase of around 2%. These upward trends are driven by the early onset of peak season, with rates expected to climb further as congestion persists at major ports. 

Market changes: The market remains volatile due to the ongoing geopolitical tensions, especially the Red Sea crisis. The capacity constraints and longer shipping routes around Africa are pushing rates up. Additionally, there is a looming threat of strikes at East Coast and Gulf ports, which could further disrupt supply chains and exacerbate rate increases. There is cautious optimism among carriers, but the overcapacity in smaller vessel segments continues to be a concern, impacting charter rates.


Rate changes: Rates on the China to Northern Europe route saw a moderate increase of approximately 2%, while those to the Mediterranean rose by about 1%. Despite these increases, the overall demand from Europe remains subdued by high inflation and inventory levels. Carriers are planning additional General Rate Increases (GRIs) and blank sailings in the coming months to offset downward price pressure.

Market changes: The market is experiencing significant supply pressures due to the influx of ultra-large container vessels. This “gargantuan supply influx” is anticipated to temper any rate hikes despite the current increases. The weaker demand from European importers and the diversion to alternative modes including railways are contributing to a more stable but sluggish market.

Air freight/Express market update

China-US and Europe

Rate changes: Air freight rates from China to North America surged again by nearly 10% in the last week, reflecting strong demand and limited capacity. Conversely, rates to Northern Europe decreased by about 13%, driven by varying demand dynamics across regions. Overall, global air freight rates have seen a mixed trend, with an average decline towards the end of June.

Market changes: The air cargo market is also dealing with overcapacity, with some carriers grounding freighters in anticipation of a rebound later in the year. E-commerce remains a key driver, especially through hubs like Incheon Airport, which has seen significant growth in transhipment volumes. However, increased inspections by US Customs are creating bottlenecks, impacting the flow of goods. The market is expected to face further turbulence through the summer, with potential spikes in demand if ocean freight reliability continues to dip due to the ongoing Red Sea crisis.

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.

Looking for a logistics solution with competitive pricing, full visibility, and readily accessible customer support? Check out the Alibaba.com Logistics Marketplace today.

Was this article helpful?

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top