Regular information on current developments

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


The demand for free capacity is worldwide very high, sometimes extreme. The situation is particularly critical for imports from China. Space on planes is scarce. There is still a lack of equipment. At the same time the demand is high.

For exports to USA, our "SAB" SENATOR Atlantic Bridge offers a good option despite high capacity utilization. The advantage: Own Controlled Flights react more flexibly to market fluctuations. Especially helpful for time-critical shipments.

Capacity utilization in the direction of South Africa also remains tense. The following applies to all bookings: plan in good time ahead and involve the forwarder as early as possible in a partnership.


The situation for import and export remains extremely tense. Rates have gone through the roof on some routes. And on top of that, shipowners are announcing further and still additional surcharges. Partly creatively titled: Peak Season Surcharge, Equipment Imbalance Surcharge, Rate Recovery Surcharge etc. Some offers only hide the true costs.

Between the holidays around Christmas and New Year Blank Sailings are expected. Shipowners react to plant vacations and short-term declining demand. This is more likely to aggravate the situation. And China? Blows up all expectations. The demand for goods from the Middle Kingdom is exacerbating bottlenecks. North America has even more desire for Made in China. Ships and containers are being moved to the Pacific route. These are then missing for the journey to Europe.

Departures in December are almost fully booked. Even where there is still space on board, the empty container is often missing. It is also getting tight in German hinterland depots. There is a lack of the right equipment at the right time.

For exports, the market situation remains critical until Chinese New Year and is not expected to relax before the end of March 2021. Backlogs in ports from Great Britain to Australia lead to delays in the schedule. The result: delays and the short-term omission of some ports.

Strict quarantine regulations for ship crews temporarily lead to the cancellation of planned sailings. South China is particularly aggressive. Until the end of February, schedules there are muddled up.

Reefer exports to China are also becoming tight. The reasons are stricter customs inspections and disinfection regulations for food imports. Reefer containers are available in limited numbers. Reefer surcharges have been announced, new bookings are partly rejected.


Here as well, the lack of empty containers is currently leading to bottlenecks. Imports are massively affected. The imbalance between export and import damages the import and helps the export. From Europe to China things continue to run smoothly. Cost-effective and efficient, bookings can be made at short notice. Transports from Europe to Asia (eastbound) find free capacity. For westbound from China, however, the situation is critical.



Customs authorities in China report a new record level of exports for November 2020. Compared to November 2019, exports rose by a whopping 21.1 percent. Also measured in terms of the value in US dollars, this is the largest increase in the nation's history. 
China benefits from the strict lockdown measures in Europe and the Western world (source: South China Morning Post).


Also, Ocean Freight across the North Atlantic runs on a very high level. Almost all shipping companies report fully booked ships by the end of the year. Even premium products like CMA CGM "SeaPriorityGo" are no longer available. The chance to get hold of space for individual containers through short-term cancellations is possible, but very small. In addition, there is the risk that shipowners cancel bookings at short notice because empty containers are missing. This has consequences for all bookings to/from North America and partly also for Latin America.

In general, there is growing concern about supply chain disruptions due to the still increasing number of Covid-19 infections. This complicates preparations for the distribution of vaccines. The air freight market across the pond is under pressure. Flights across the Pacific Ocean are also severely affected. A flood of cancelled cargo flights to Los Angeles (LAX) reflects the situation. Dozens of connections to LAX have been cancelled. Other destinations in the USA are also affected. The number of sick days in the transport and logistics segment more than doubled in November compared to the previous month (source: theloadstar.com).

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