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.


Covid-19 continues to make reliable planning difficult worldwide. Pilot or ground handling staff shortages may still occur at short notice. At present, the flight schedules of our "SAB" are running as planned. Better than in many places in the market.

In the direction of the USA, the load factor on the "SAB" SENATOR Atlantic Bridge to and from Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) is currently high. Free capacity is available to Chicago-Rockford (RFD). The same is true for service to Mexico-City (MEX): space on these flights is available and can be booked.

In the direction of South Africa, available capacity is currently scarce. If direct booking is not possible on our "SAB" SENATOR Africa Bridge, SENATOR also offers commercial alternatives. Flexible solutions are possible.

After Egypt introduced ACID for sea freight shipments last fall, air freight is now following suit. ACID stands for Advance Cargo Information. Since the end of January, ACID provisions have been implemented on a trial basis on all air cargo shipments imported into Egypt. The regulations will then become mandatory for imports on April 1st, 2022. Customers with shipments to Egypt are required to provide the ACID number (19-digit number identifying the ACI shipment) in advance.


For exports from Europe to Asia, the situation has changed little. In China, there may be delays and longer waiting times due to after-effects of Chinese New Year (last week) and short-term lockdown measures. In the direction of Australia/New Zealand, available capacities continue to be scarce.

For imports from Asia to Europe, the picture is the same as last time: High rates, few available seats. In the coming weeks, much will depend on developments in China. 

For exports from Europe to North America and Mexico, full ships and congested ports in the USA continue to be noticeable. The West Coast in particular - Los Angeles-Long Beach with the most waiting ships - is affected. Rates are at high levels due to scarcely available capacity. At the same time, this is dragging down on-time performance of container ships to an all-time low. According to container-news.com, schedule reliability has recently dropped significantly.  In 2021, it decreased by 12.5% compared to the previous year. In addition, the average delay for ship arrivals increased to 7.33 days in December 2021 (source: container-news.com). Rates also remain high in the direction of Mexico and South America, and free slots are scarce.

There is reason to celebrate on the New Silk Road: On January 29th, the 50,000th train carrying rail freight from China to Europe took off. According to the Xinhua news agency, the connection began in 2011 with just 17 trains. Over the years, the numbers have more than doubled each year. Covid-related, the importance of the rail route between China and Europe is steadily increasing (source: railfreight.com).

On the SARB (SENATOR Asia Rail Bridge), transit times for exports remain stable at around 25 days. For import somewhat changeable, but outliers with more than 30 days have decreased significantly. In February, SENATOR can offer top rates for export to China. New export stations are Nanjing and Changsha. For bookings or questions, feel free to contact railbridge@senator-international.comdirectly.


The year 2022 also starts with many challenges in logistics. The rising Corona infection figures bring daily effects. Therefore, there may currently be short-term staff shortages at our logistics sites in Hamburg. We ask you to take this into account in your overall supply chain planning. In the meantime, all precautions are being taken to compensate for bottlenecks in the best possible way.

The good news is that our logistics department at Bredowstraße 28, 22113 Hamburg, still has warehouse space available. For bookings or questions, please contact our logistics directly by e-mail: logistics@senator-international.com



For Air Freight, capacity continues to suffer from a widespread ban on passenger flights. For all shipments, planning should be done well in advance. For imports from Asia, rates remain high because most shipments from the Far East are handled via Europe. For air traffic with the USA, the market is proving somewhat more flexible: some passenger flights are back in operation.

For Ocean Freight, demand remains high as before. This again means rising rates. The many congested ports in Europe, Asia and North America are not making things any easier. For export, some shipowners are currently reluctant to sign new contracts. The routes to South America and Mexico (West Coast) are also experiencing disruptions.


China's tourism industry is suffering massively from the country's zero-covid strategy. Compared to 2019, the slumps in 2021 amounted to 50%. Travel agencies, airlines and the hotel industry are equally affected. Currently, observers say there is no end in sight to the crisis (source: scmp.com).

Air Freight to and from China has recently suffered a slight setback due to the Chinese New Year and Covid-19. Weak volumes met with capacity declines. This has also had an impact on rates. According to industry media, however, the market is showing a high degree of resilience (source: theloadstar.com).


For Air Freight, fuel increases affect prices from Europe to Mexico. SENATOR offers an excellent option with its own controlled flights of "SAB" to Mexico City (MEX). For import from China, there are delays after the Chinese New Year celebrations. For traffic to and from the USA, the sometimes extreme winter weather there is causing flight cancellations and delays.

For Ocean Freight, prices for imports from Europe currently remain stable. Imports from China are also affected by the consequences of the New Year: Few options, hardly any free seats.


The covid situation in the country has changed little. Despite a slight increase in the number of cases due to the Omikron variant, recently decided openings in daily life remain in place.

Following heavy rains, flooding has occurred in the lowlands since last week. The region around the capital Pretoria was particularly affected. Flooded roads led to traffic obstructions on important routes.

Air traffic is increasingly returning to normal for air freight. Last week, Emirates and Etihad announced the resumption of regular passenger flights from the beginning of February. Thanks to the cargo option on such regular flights (PAX option), the recently observed capacity bottlenecks to and from South Africa are also likely to ease increasingly.


The closure of the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico border to unvaccinated and partially vaccinated truckers will not be without effect. The impact will be felt above all in the freight market between the USA and Canada. Capacities have already tightened considerably. Prices on the spot market have risen enormously (source: freightwaves.com).

For Air Freight, American Airlines complains of a lack of sufficient aircraft. The increasing demand for passenger flights that accompanies the advancing vaccination campaign is limiting the scope for cargo-only flights. In response, the airline has reconfigured its cargo division. The measures are intended to provide some breathing room for the cargo business (source: theloadstar.com).

For Ocean Freight, congestion at nearly all major container ports remains a critical factor. In early February, 99 ships were anchored off Los Angeles-Long Beach. There were 20 off Oakland, 6 off Savannah and 12 off New York City/New Jersey. The situation is not expected to ease for the time being.  


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