Regular information on current developments

What is currently shaping the market for air freight? What for sea freight? What's happening on the rail link with China? You can read interesting facts here.


The war in Ukraine and high energy costs are keeping the market on edge. The situation remains challenging for all modes of transport.

SENATOR continues to be affected by fluctuating prices in line with market developments. Depending on the case, this may mean surcharges for certain shipments. Please note: For detailed and product-related questions, please contact your personal SENATOR contact person directly.


In general, the situation on the air freight market is easing. This is due, among other things, to the still ongoing vacation and vacation period of recent weeks. For the first time since the pandemic, this is having an impact on the general market situation in terms of capacity.

The situation in China, especially in Shanghai, is also more stable than it was a few weeks ago. The once harsh lockdowns have ended. The trend continues towards to normality.

Prices for jet fuel continue to stabilize and have remained at current levels for several weeks.

On the "SAB" SENATOR Atlantic Bridge to USA, the utilization remains high. SENATOR has already made efforts to find alternative capacity in order to continue to offer the usual service.

On the "SAB" SENATOR Africa Bridge from Germany to South Africa there are still remaining capacities. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

At Lufthansa Cargo, all signs point to a strike by the pilots. The reason for this is an open wage dispute. According to information from aero.de, the negotiations between Lufthansa and the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots' union have broken down after 4 dates of negotiations.


The vessels on the Americas Trade continue to be well utilized. Congestion continues to occur, causing delays on the USA / Canada / Mexico trades. Import volumes remain high, with no improvement expected in the short term.

Towards South America's East Coast, utilization is slightly weaker, towards South America's West Coast it remains high. Rates are stable at a high level.

An eight-day strike is taking place at the UK port of Felixstowe. At the UK's largest container port, nearly 2,000 workers have been on strike since August 21, demanding a better pay. A number of shipping companies, including Maersk and Cosco, will not making calls during this period. At the same time, the UK port of Liverpool is planning similar protests. (Source: splash247.com)

Negotiations over port workers' collective agreements in German North Sea ports remain inconclusive. Now the pressure to reach an agreement is growing on August 24, the final negotiation date. If both parties fail to reach a compromise in this 10th round of negotiations, there will be the risk of new strikes.

Europe's major waterways are running low water due to high temperatures and persistent drought. Normally, the average depth in the river Rhine in August is about 2m, currently this has dropped to below 1m. As a result, ships are Minimum loaded, and the suspension of shipping traffic can also be possible.


As a result of the war situation in Ukraine, our SARB (SENATOR Asia Rail Bridge) service has been temporarily suspended. No bookings are accepted at the moment. We ask for your understanding.

A new service is operating on the New Silk Road, connecting the port of Lianyungang with Uzbekistan. This is considered a milestone in the development of the Chinese port as a gateway to Central Asia. The first train departed from Wuxi for Lianyungang on August 13th. The port is one of the 10 largest in China and 30 largest in the world. The transfer time to Uzbekistan is 20 days. (Source: railfreight.com).



The resume of passenger planes with cargo option (PAX) provided more capacity and the low perishable season countrywide has lowered the demand.

In October, Brazil will hold an election, which is a directional election. The duel will be between the right-wing populist Bolsonaro and the left-wing former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The campaign officially began on August 16. After a suspected Bolsonaro supporter recently shot a Workers' Party, there is concern about increasing violence in the election campaign.


About half of China's total area is affected by extremely high temperatures. Heat waves and droughts are currently disrupting electricity supplies, halting shipping and endangering crops. Factories are being closed due to power shortages, disrupting supply chains (source: scmp.com).


Ocean freight rates from Asia have continued to fall and the port of Manzanillo is heavily congested. These circumstances lead to the operation of strategic warehouses. All with the aim of avoiding costs, controlling inventories, and making shipments by land.

There are still capacity constraints for ocean freight from Europe to Mexico. Therefore bookings should be made at least three weeks before departure.

Since the start of the pandemic, the air freight market from Asia to Mexico has been a little more relaxed in terms of rates and capacity. Good timing for importers.

The airfreight export from Mexico to Europe also offers sufficient capacity. With our "SAB" especially perishable goods or other products can be transported optimally within our network.


Fuel prices in South Africa for gasoline and diesel are expected to be reduced by just under 10% at the beginning of September. The reasons are the global decline in oil prices and a little stronger ZAR. The official prices will be announced shortly before the end of August.

The power utility Eskom continues to struggle to stabilize the national power grid, with no improvement expected in the foreseeable future. This means continued power outages of about 2 to 4 hours for companies and households.

Cosatu, a federation of unions representing more than 600,000 workers, has called for a nationwide strike on August 24, including workers who are not organized in unions. This protest action is an appeal to the government to respond to high fuel prices, rising inflation and high cost of living. The impact on the economy cannot be foreseen at the moment.

The South African government is seeking private participation in the operation of some South African ports. Ten companies have now been shortlisted to submit proposals to manage the container terminals in Durban and Queberha (Port Elizabeth). The decision on the appointment of the partners is expected in mid-2023.


The container handling at Los Angeles, America's largest container port, was 935,345 TEUs in July. That's the highest in a July in the port's history. According to Gene Seroka, executive director of the port, the numbers could decline in August, a turning point. Reasons: Orders from Chinese factories are slowing, and some retailers continue to report high inventories.

Meanwhile, the queue of container ships offshore has dropped to very low levels. According to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, only 15 container ships were on hold in Los Angeles/Long Beach as of August 17, down from 109 in January. The lowest level was reached on August 10 with 9 ships (source: freightwaves.com).


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