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Welcome to our latest Market Watch update, where we dive into the ever-evolving landscape of sea and air freight. From shifts in market dynamics on the Asia to North America route to ongoing challenges at West Coast ports, we analyze key trends impacting the industry. Additionally, we explore the implications of recent alliance renewals and offer insights into what to expect in the coming weeks. Join us as we navigate the complexities of global trade and provide recommendations for optimizing your cargo movements.

Sea Freight


The Ocean Alliance (CMA CGM Group, COSCO Shipping, Evergreen, and OOCL) confirmed the renewal of their partnership until 2032. Positioning themselves as the stable and reliable alliance. Following the renewal, effective April 2024, there will be some service adjustments.

West Coast Ports

We continue to see see 2-3 delays at LA/LB Ports. Loading rail to USEC 4-5 day delay, Loading rail to Midwest 6-7 day delays

Asia to North America

Floating market continues to soften while carriers continue to implement unwarranted GRI’s. Whether Red Sea surcharges will be upheld remains to be seen. We may continue to see SE Asia and Indian markets pick-up market share as buyers move away from China.

Air Freight

Asia to North America

Air freight rates continue to maintain rate levels as e-commerce shipments from China are quite robust.

What to Expect

As new vessel deliveries come onto market we may see schedules start to stabilize.

For time sensitive cargo:

  • East Coast: We recommend shipping to West Coast and either transload or connect to rail option if available.
  • Use Premium Services offered by carriers to guarantee space and equipment and reduce delays.
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In Other News...

CMA CGM resumes Red Sea transits on ‘case-by-case’ basis
Container line CMA CGM has resumed transit of some vessels through the Red Sea on a case-by-case basis, despite continued Houthi attacks on shipping transiting the region.

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Exporters nervous as air cargo congestion builds in Delhi and Mumbai
Airlines are dealing with considerable cargo backlogs across major international airports in India as volumes spike, according to industry updates.
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Port of Los Angeles February cargo volume jumps 60% over previous year
SAN PEDRO, Calif. – March 18, 2024 – The Port of Los Angeles processed 781,434 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in February, a 60% increase over the previous year. It was the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year growth at the nation’s busiest port.
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BNSF, UP working through rail container backlogs in Southern California
Terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are working to reduce a backlog of rail containers that have accumulated during two consecutive months of strong imports and are urging the railroads to send more cars to the ports to help them finish the job.
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Hapag chief executive defends Gemini transhipment tactic
Hapag-Lloyd chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen said today he expected Asian export freight rates to continue to fall in the coming weeks – however, he trusted they would settle above pre-Red Sea crisis levels, which were “unsustainable”.
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Rumours of Houthi truce with China and Russia fall flat with latest tanker attack
Putting paid to reports last week that Chinese and Russian ships were to be given safe passage through the Red Sea by the Houthis, a Chinese tanker was attacked by missiles fired from Yemen on Saturday.
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Maersk resumes trans-Pacific service amid early ‘24 import growth
Maersk is restoring a Panama Canal express service between China and the US East and Gulf coasts that had been suspended last year due to weakening demand and the slide in ocean freight rates. The service resumption comes as rates have jumped from 2023 lows and imports from Asia show significant growth in early 2024.
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Air cargo market rides an incoming wave, but can it last?
The air cargo market has started the year on an apparent tear thanks to strong e-commerce volumes out of Asia and extended transits for ocean freight being rerouted around the Red Sea conflict zone, but whether the growth is sustainable or a product of low comparisons to last year remains an open question.
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What we know and don’t know about Baltimore’s Key Bridge collapse
Rescue efforts have turned to recovery in the tangled wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. Authorities have recovered the bodies of two workers, and four others are presumed dead after a cargo ship struck the bridge early Tuesday morning, sending the structure — and anyone on it — plunging into the frigid Patapsco River.
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