Regular information about developments worldwide

What is currently shaping the air freight market? What about sea freight? What about the rail connection with China? Read more.


Demand for Air Freight remains very high worldwide. Delays at the Chinese port of Yantian and the impact on global Ocean Freight are also diverting shipments to air. 

Export volumes from Europe to the USA remain at a high level. Consequence: Capacities are scarce. SENATOR INTERNATIONAL offers additional connections, primarily to handle all existing and project business smoothly.

In South Africa, due to a new COVID-19 wave, the so-called "Level 4 restrictions" were put into force. Among other things, this means: more home offices, fewer staff at airports, stricter controls. At the same time, the demand for air freight remains constantly high. Background: here, too, enormous increase in export volume due to shipments diverted from sea freight.


The backlog in Yantian (Shenzhen region, South China) continues to have a huge impact. For exports from Europe to Asia, rates remain at high levels. Especially for shipments to Australia/New Zealand, rates are currently massively increased. Services to Oceania are fully booked 4 - 6 weeks in advance. Surcharges (PSS Peak Season Surcharge, Congestion Surcharge) are still being applied.

Processes in Yantian are still running delayed. Delays are causing shipowners to switch to other ports in the region such as Nansha and Shekou. Reefer shipments to Yantian are currently subject to surcharges of up to $1200 per container. In general, delayed ships and schedule cancellations to Asia accompany the market.

At the Port of Hamburg, efforts are being made to intercept acute delays with additional inland vessels. Export shipments to inland terminals have to wait for a long time. Trains start late or are cancelled completely. Delays should be urgently factored in for all bookings. Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven can serve as alternatives to the Port of Hamburg.

Major carriers are responding with the following measures, among others:

•    Alliance 2M is flying to Bremerhaven instead of Hamburg on Condor service until the end of July.
•    MSC will not accept cargo from Hamburg to Australia/New Zealand and the Middle East until the end of July. 
•    CMA will not accept transhipments via Port Kelang (Malaysia) to Australia/New Zealand until further notice.

Equipment situation remains tight for imports from Asia to Europe. Rates? Consistently at record levels. Especially in Yantian massive shortage of empty containers. Schedule reliability currently at about 33%. Average delay for shipments Asia to Europe: 5.5 days.

For exports from Europe to North America and Mexico, high demand continues to exceed available capacity. Background: US imports booming, shortage of free containers, congestion at major US ports on West and East Coast. Surcharges (e.g. EIS, Equipment Imbalance Surcharge) are driving rates up. The high rate level is likely to continue for some time. In the direction of South America (East and West Coast), demand is also very high. Inquiries should be made about 4 - 6 weeks in advance.

In Bangladesh, the delta variant of COVID-19 is causing significant restrictions. From 1st to 7th July 2021, the country is completely sealed off. Consequence for sea freight: equipment shortages, delays in sailings or possible ship cancellations.

Good news from Egypt: fixed M/V Ever Given will leave the Great Bitter Sea in the Suez Canal this Wednesday (7thJuly) after three months on the chain. Ship owner and SCA (Suez Canal Authority) have agreed on compensation. The exact amount is not yet publicly known.


Swiss supplier Hupac has announced a new liquid cargo transport service between Europe and China. The planned line is specifically designed for the chemical industry in Europe and will run via Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan to the Chinese city of Lanzhou. Practical implementation still faces challenges due to dangerous goods regulations in China. Every product transported on the New Silk Road through China requires a "non-dangerous goods certificate" (Source: railfreight.com).



The vaccination campaign is moving forward. To date, 105 million people have received their vaccination, 24 million of whom have also received the second vaccination. There continues to be a shortage of cargo-option passenger (PAX) flights to and from Brazil. Rates remain high in both directions. 
For Ocean Freight, also stable high rates. In the direction of North America, there is still a lack of capacity and equipment. Especially reefer containers are hardly available.   


Delays at the port of Yantian are having a significant impact on goods traffic between China and Europe. The Foreign Trade Association also expects price increases and longer delivery times for Germany. It will probably take months before processes can return to normal (source: welt.de).

In the transpacific trade between China and the USA, shipowners are outdoing each other with record rates. According to industry watchdog The Loadstar, spot rates as high as $21,000 for a 40-foot container have been registered in some cases. Yet many shippers are paying significantly less. Says Patrik Berglund, managing director of benchmarking platform Xeneta: "We see and hear about sky-high rates in the media, but those headlines are not what emerge from our customers' data." (Source: theloadstar.com).


For Ocean Freight from Europe and Asia to Mexico there is a lack of equipment. Bookings should be placed 2 - 3 weeks in advance. Consequential effect: further increasing rates.

For Airfreight from Europe and USA to Mexico the availability of free capacity has slightly improved. Nevertheless, forward planning remains the key. From Latin America (LATAM), there is still a lack of passenger flights with a cargo option (PAX flights). However, PAX frequencies from Chile, Peru and Colombia are increasing slightly.


Due to a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, the government has announced a return to the so-called "Level 4 Lockdown." Measures include a nationwide curfew between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., home offices when possible, and tighter controls. In particular, road freight traffic to neighboring Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia remains affected by these precautions. Long waiting times are still expected for the Beit Bridge border crossing (with Zimbabwe). There is a lack of sufficient numbers of officials to monitor compliance with the measures.


For Ocean Freight, ports on the U.S. West Coast are seeking partnerships with inland ports. Port operators hope this will relieve congestion at the terminals, which have been overloaded for months. Specifically, the Port of Long Beach recently signed a four-year partnership agreement with the Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA). The main goal of the cooperation is to improve interstate cargo flows (Source: theloadstar.com).


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