Trade Lane Update: Week of February 14th, 2024


IMPORT: Asia to North America (TPEB)

Recent Developments:

  • Lunar New Year (LNY) in China began Saturday and will conclude Feb. 24. Most Chinese businesses are closed, while port operations are limited.
  • According to the Journal of Commerce, disruptions related to the Panama Canal’s outstanding drought have shown signs of improvement. Several carriers are resuming certain services through the challenged waterway.

Rates: Rates remain notably high following pre-LNY pressure and the ongoing impacts of uncertainty with the Red Sea. They should see a fair degree of softening after the holiday, however.
Space: Space is mostly open but has seen some tightening.
Capacity: Longer transit times around southern Africa are absorbing vessel capacity. However, carriers remain well-supplied with available vessels to manage the adjustment.
Equipment: There are no outstanding equipment deficits or bottlenecks.


  • Hold your logistics partners accountable for frequent updates regarding current market conditions and routing impacts.
  • Be flexible and adaptive to alternative service options, especially as it relates to potential savings on cost or transit.

IMPORT: Europe to North America (TAWB)

Rates: Rates have risen since the start of the month, but given the ongoing spell of dormant demand, this increase will likely be reeled in.
Space: Space is open.
Capacity: Capacity remains abundant. Carriers are partially curbing this by reducing the size of vessels operating on transatlantic lanes. Though, significant blank sailing programs have not been implemented.
Equipment: Availability on both origin and destination sides, unless advised otherwise.


  • Book at least three weeks prior to the ready date.
  • Communicate with your logistics partners to ensure that you’re up to speed on the EU ETS program and its evolving impacts on transatlantic trade.
  • Keep an eye on carrier discretion when it comes to their managing of the market. While this trade favors shippers at the moment, carriers could become more aggressive with usual tactics, like rate increases or blank sailings, to prevent further lossmaking.

EXPORT: North America to Asia

Rates: Rates are level following an uptick in mid-January. They remain relatively low.
Capacity: Space remains open, particularly from West Coast ports, however carriers remain curbing capacity via blank sailings and slow steaming as U.S. import demand remains challenged.
Equipment: Barge services in China are temporarily suspended for the LNY holiday period.


  • 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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