Trade Lane Update: Week of December 27th, 2023

IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

  • Major carriers have announced general rate increases (GRIs) on North American imports from India beginning in January.

Rates: Rates remain level, however they could rise in the coming weeks as longer transits (from canal uncertainty) leads to increased shipping demand measured in ton-miles (volume multiplied by distance).
Space: Space is generally open, but certain services have seen tightening.
Capacity: Longer transits averting the canals will absorb vessel capacity in order to maintain weekly services.
Equipment: There are no outstanding equipment deficits or bottlenecks.


  • Hold your logistics partners accountable for frequent updates regarding current market conditions and routing impacts.
  • Establish a firm timeline for future import activity.

IMPORT: Europe to North America (TAWB)

Recent Developments:

  • Carbon-related surcharges have been announced by ocean carriers ahead of the shipping industry’s indoctrination to the EU emissions trading system in January. For more information.

Rates: Rates have receded to lower levels after an abrupt increase late last month.
Space: Space is open.
Capacity: Capacity remains plentiful. No major adjustments from carriers, yet.
Equipment: Availability on both origin and destination sides, unless advised otherwise.


  • Book at least three weeks prior to the ready date.
  • Carriers have yet to take aggressive action, like they have in the Pacific, regarding capacity management. However, this trade is not profitable for them in its current state, so be on the lookout as they may become more emboldened.

EXPORT: North America to Asia

Recent Developments:

  • The U.S. is on pace to be the world’s largest producer and exporter of natural gas this year.

Rates: After sliding through October, outbound rates have levelled off—remaining relatively low.
Capacity: Schedule reliability can be fickle in pockets.
Equipment: Rail car availability issues have softened.


  • Insufficient communication with sailing schedules can lead to higher detention and demurrage fees as well as higher trucking and storage costs. Ensure your logistics partners are not keeping you and your cargo in the dark.

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