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Freight Market Update: June 27, 2024

container ship unloading in port

Ocean freight market update

China–North America

  • Rate changes: Ocean freight rates from China to North America experienced significant increases over the past week. Rates to the West Coast climbed by around 15%, while East Coast rates saw a rise of approximately 7%. This upward trend is attributed to the early onset of peak season and tightening capacity caused by diversions and port congestion.
  • Market changes: The early peak season is being propelled by retailers pre-stocking to avoid potential supply chain disruptions. This has resulted in elevated spot rates for shipments from Asia to North America. The ongoing port congestion, especially in key ports like Los Angeles and New York, is exacerbating the capacity constraints. Additionally, the introduction of new vessels into service has not alleviated the upward pressure on rates, indicating a continued strong demand environment.


  • Rate changes: Rates on the China to Europe routes have also increased, with North European lanes seeing an approximate 8% rise, while Mediterranean lanes experienced a more modest 4% increase. These hikes are linked to early peak season activities and efforts to manage supply chain disruptions.
  • Market changes: Market analysts note that despite these rate increases, European demand remains relatively flat due to high inventory levels and inflationary pressures. Carriers have responded with measures such as blank sailings and additional General Rate Increases (GRIs) planned for the coming months. The influx of newly built ultra-large container vessels is anticipated to further impact the market dynamics, although it has yet to reverse the current trend.

Air freight/Express market update

China–US and Europe

  • Rate changes: Air freight rates from China to North America have seen a slight decrease of around 1%, while rates to Europe have risen by about 1%. These fluctuations reflect varying demand levels across different regions, with continued strong performance in e-commerce driving up rates in certain lanes.
  • Market changes: The air freight market is also experiencing capacity issues, with several carriers grounding freighters due to overcapacity. Despite this, demand for e-commerce and general cargo remains strong, maintaining elevated rate levels. Notably, shipments from Asia to the US have increased, driven by robust consumer demand, although the overall market is facing volatility.

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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