Regular information about developments worldwide

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


The market continues to be tight. Exports and imports to and from China are particularly affected. Zhengzhou Airport (CGO) is currently heavily congested. Due to significant staff shortages and delays in ground handling, the import of special cargoes (cargoes with excess length, excess width, heavy duty pieces, etc.) is currently not allowed. At the same time, there are capacity constraints due to reduced payload for import flights. Countermeasures are expected to bring the situation at CGO back to normal. Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) also continues to be affected by delays in operations and resulting flight cancellations. The Golden Week from October 1 - 7 will further complicate the export situation from Europe in particular.

Towards the USA the situation remains equally difficult. A high demand meets not enough free capacities. Rates are consistently at a high level. SENATOR INTERNATIONAL reacts and offers on the "SAB" SENATOR Atlantic Bridge 7 flights per week between Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN) and Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) and 3 flights between Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN) and Chicago-Rockford (RFD).

At Frankfurt Airport (FRA), there are delays in customs processing for import shipments. The reason for this is the changed process handling in the import customs procedure. It takes more time to present the goods to customs because each individual shipment, i.e. each individual house air waybill, has to be pre-registered with customs individually. Accordingly, the waiting time for customs clearance increases. For all shipments handled through FRA, this additional expense should be urgently factored into the import process. In general, FRA is currently experiencing significant disruptions in ground handling. In addition to the customs issue, there are delays in the global supply chains and the high freight volume.


Rates remain high for exports from Europe to Asia. Free places continue to be in short supply. 
Exports to Australia/New Zealand are also heavily booked. Some shipowners are currently not accepting transit cargo on this route. The shipping company OOCL will no longer offer cargoes to Japan from October 2021. The background: containers used there are far more urgently needed in Chinese ports.

From October 1, 2021, the ACI rules (ACI = Advance Cargo Information) will apply to all shipments to Egypt. All customers are thus obliged to provide the following information:

•    ACID number: 19-digit number identifying the ACI shipment.
•    VAT identification number of the Egyptian importer
•    Exporter's registration number: 17-digit alphanumeric number
(together with the 10-digit harmonized customs code when the entry is submitted).

For imports from Asia to Europe, the situation also remains tight: High rates, hardly any equipment available. Golden Week in China (October 1-7) is fueling the tight market situation and could result in further delays to Europe.

Exports from Europe to North America, Mexico and South America are not yet showing any relief either. The situation remains tense: Available containers are in short supply and rates are rising again. In truck traffic within the USA, the shortage of drivers and chassis is causing severe delays. U.S. ports remain heavily congested in some cases, especially on the West Coast. 

In October, OOCL will discontinue the so-called "Door Moves" service (shipowner takes over the entire transport to the consignee) in North America. The reason for this is the immense shortage of available drivers in Canada and the USA. It is currently unclear when the service will be resumed.


Various providers have been able to noticeably reduce the backlog on rail connections. As a result, transit times between China and Europe are currently easing. After departures via Zhengzhou were delayed by about 14 days at the end of August, trains are currently starting almost on time. There are still enough free seats for export from Europe to China. Rates to China are at an interesting price level.


After the severe consequences of the Corona crisis, the economy has meanwhile recovered slightly. Also thanks to the advancing vaccination campaign. In the meantime, 40% of the population is considered to be fully vaccinated. 

For air Freight, the space and rate situation has hardly changed. For export from Europe to Brazil, free seats are particularly rare. For export, especially the routes to the LATAM region are highly frequented. All inquiries should be made in advance if possible.

For Ocean Freight, the booming transpacific route is challenging the market: Hardly any free slots and high rates. For export from Brazil to LATAM, planning ahead is also necessary.


Ahead of Golden Week, spot container freight rates on the transpacific route are down slightly for the first time in many months. This trend affects cargoes to both the West and East coasts of the US. Nevertheless, experts are watching the slight downward trend with caution (source: theloadstar.com).

China's C919 program is delayed longer than expected due to strict U.S. export regulations. The first twin-engine passenger aircraft developed in China was not presented at the country's largest air show. Background: the U.S. requires special permits for the export of parts and technology by companies with ties to the Chinese military (source: scmp.com).


The UK continues to face a general shortage of truck drivers. This affects all industries. The tight situation is now also affecting the retail sector: Supermarkets are complaining of bottlenecks, and fuel deliveries to service stations are sometimes delayed. The situation for container shipments is critical. Almost all shipping companies are affected. Customers should increasingly factor in demurrage/detention a priori for imports to the United Kingdom. For exports, the additional costs depend on the respective ship capacities (source: bbc.co.uk).


Currently there are significant delays in domestic traffic. For "single" container shipments, the average transportation time by truck to and from seaports is 72 - 96 hours. For tandem transports 24 - 72 hours. The reasons for this include heavy rainfall, considerable staff shortages, too few free containers and a strike-related blockade of the main rail link to the port of Lazaro Cardenas.


After the prolonged Corona-related restrictions, the economy is gradually being reopened. In the road freight sector, there is justified hope that the border congestion between South Africa and Zimbabwe will soon be reduced. Background: both countries have announced the opening of the new "one-stop border post" in Beitbridge on October 1, 2021.
Rising oil prices and a weaker rand (ZAR) could see fuel prices increase in October. Ocean freight to and from South Africa continues to experience bottlenecks due to the global shortage of space. Rates are currently rising noticeably.


Around the ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach, the situation remains critical. Currently, more than 60 container ships are anchored. The shipping line Hapag-Lloyd points out that arrival and departure times are constantly changing. For Los Angeles-Long Beach, the average waiting time is 9 - 11 days. Vessel traffic at both ports is up 30% so far this year. Delays are expected at least through the end of the year. Many East Coast ports are also affected. In New York and Philadelphia, the current wait averages 7 days.


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