Regular information on current developments

What is currently shaping the market for Air Freight? What for Ocean Freight? What in areas such as China, Mexico or USA? You can read interesting facts here.


The war in Ukraine and high energy costs dominate the market situation worldwide. This affects all modes of transport.

SENATOR is therefore still affected by fluctuating prices. This may cause surcharges for certain shipments. If you have any questions about your shipments, please contact your personal SENATOR contact person directly.


At the end of this week, maintenance work on the "SAB" fleet will be fully completed. This means that all aircraft will be available again from October. 

Capacity to the USA has hardly changed recently. Despite the end of the vacation season, there is currently no noticeable decline in passenger flights. Additional PAX capacity is therefore available here. In the direction of Mexico, the "SAB" SENATOR Atlantic Bridge from Frankfurt (FRA) to Mexico City (MEX) offers an excellent option with 3 flights per week.

Fuel prices continue to be volatile. At the moment, no decrease in prices can be expected towards the end of the year.


The market situation is on the move. Spot rates continue to fall. On the Asia-Europe and Transpacific routes, double-digit declines were recorded in some cases last week. For 40-foot containers from Asia to North America, market analysis platform Xeneta recorded a 14% decline. According to market observers, this trend will continue for a few more weeks. Only at the beginning of the new year could things start to pick up again. The current price development is prompting some shipowners to make "special offers" (source: theloadstar.com). 

Strikes at major English ports continue. Following a breakdown in wage negotiations, the British trade union Unite has announced a strike for the port of Felixstowe from September 27 (7 a.m. local time) to October 5 (6:59 a.m. local time). The port of Liverpool has been on strike since September 19. The work stoppage there is to remain in force until October 3 (6 a.m. local time). In addition to delays in the supply chain, these strikes may also cause problems in other European ports. Shipowners continue to respond with contingency plans. In some cases, departures have been brought forward or imports have been diverted to other British ports. The measures are certainly proving successful: so far, there have been fewer disruptions to the supply chain than during the first strike in August. Freight forwarders have also diverted significant capacity from Asian routes to mitigate the impact of falling demand. This has taken pressure off terminals in Europe and the U.K. (Source: theloadstar.com)

The cost of transiting the Suez Canal continues to rise. Over the course of the year, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has already increased transit fees three times. Now, shipowners have been informed of another increase starting in 2023. The increase is 15% for the passage of tankers. For bulk carriers, the fee will increase by 10% (source: splash247.com).


As a result of the war situation in Ukraine, our SARB (SENATOR Asia Rail Bridge) service remains suspended. Currently no bookings are accepted. We ask for your understanding.  

Meanwhile, Duisburger Hafen AG Duisport and the Port of Hamburg reaffirm their interest in maintaining rail traffic via the New Silk Road. At a panel discussion with representatives of both companies, a commitment to the expansion of the Silk Road network was emphasized. According to both ports, the expected Duisburg Gateway Terminal will make a decisive contribution to future Silk Road connections. Duisburg and Hamburg play an important role as major hubs for European rail, inland and maritime traffic (source: railfreight.com).



Brazil's second largest airline Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes will pay $41 million to settle bribery investigations. This was announced by the relevant U.S. authorities last Friday. The background: the airline is suspected of bribery attempts. The company has been stumbling financially for some time and reported a large net loss for the second quarter at the end of July (source: freightwaves.com).


Due to Typhoon Muifa, the ports of Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan had to be closed briefly last week. Rate development was not affected by these disruptions. Rates also continue to fall for maritime transport to and from China due to the decline in demand in the West. This primarily affected transpacific traffic bound for the U.S. (source: scmp.com).

To get the struggling economy under control, China's government is promising more aid measures. At a meeting, Premier Li Keqiang pledged support to businesses and spoke of "slight fluctuations" in China's economic recovery. Observers blame this on the country's strict zero-covid strategy and zero interest rate policy, among other factors. According to Keqiang, the government wants to reverse the current downward trend with the help of investments and a boost in demand. The aim is to boost confidence in China's economy (source: scmp.com).


For air cargo, the "SAB" offers a reliable option for export, especially to Frankfurt. There is still capacity available. However, volumes are expected to increase soon. Seats should be secured as soon as possible for the upcoming avocado season. 

For ocean freight, rates continue to decline on most routes. There is some spare capacity available for transpacific traffic to and from Asia. For container traffic to and from Europe, strikes at key UK ports are hampering trade: many voyages are starting late, terminals are congested. SENATOR offers a good LCL service to Mexico with new routes. 


The power utility Eskom continues to struggle with power outages. As a result, the national power grid remains unstable. Eskom is now carrying out level 6 load shedding. This is the highest possible level. Most consumers are facing power cuts of about 9 hours per day. Eskom stated that they were unable to stabilize the power grid. It remains questionable how long the supply shortages will last.

South African unions and port operator Transnet remain at loggerheads over wage increases. Service at ports and on rail could be disrupted if strikes occur. The unions keep bringing up this option in the event of failure to meet wage demands.

For Air Freight, an increase in flight frequencies by various airlines is providing more capacity. Most recently, some carriers had also announced new connections to and from South Africa. 


The West Coast ports' share of U.S. imports has dropped significantly in recent weeks. Observers said this was a result of months of covid and crisis-related congestion at ports, particularly Los Angeles and Long Beach. While West Coast import shares fell 11.5% in August, East and Gulf Coast imports rose 12%. This shift in cargo flows gave East and Gulf Coast ports their best month on record in August 2022. West Coast ports' share of total cargo handled fell to 45%. That's down 9% from February 2021 (source: freightwaves.com).



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