Freight 101 Blog

Blanked sailings limit container capacity

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Dylan Sommer

Weekly highlights

Ocean spot rates out of Asia continued to fall this week. Carriers have responded to the decline by canceling significant amounts of scheduled sailings to the US and Europe to meet falling demand.

Asia – US West Coast rates fell 8% to less than $3,000/FEU this week, a 45% drop since the start of the month and the lane’s lowest level since August of 2020, though prices remain 128% higher than in September 2019.  

Rates from  Asia to the East Coast and to North Europe have each declined by about 25% this month but remain more than 150% and 400% higher than in 2019, respectively. The slower rate slides relative to Asia – US West Coast price decreases are likely due to ongoing port congestion on these lanes. 

European ports like Hamburg and Rotterdam continue to suffer delays, and there has likewise been a spike in US East Coast port congestion over the last few months driven by a significant shift of volumes from the West Coast which is at its lowest level since the 1980s. West Coast ports handled only 45% of US import containers in August.

LA/Long Beach’s share of searches as destination for China-US shipments on has fallen to its lowest level since early in the pandemic.

Importers shifted away from LA/Long Beach to avoid the congestion and delays they experienced during last year’s peak season, and also to escape labor disruptions which have been ongoing since July.  

Strikes in the UK are also affecting operations at the ports of Felixstowe and Liverpool, though not to the same extent as during the first Felixstowe strike in August.

Asia-US rates for this week

  • Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 8% to $2,978/FEU. This rate is 82% lower than the same time last year.
  • Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) decreased 5% to $6,952/FEU, and are 63% lower than rates for this week last year.

Check in next week for more real-time freight market updates to help you ship smoother.

More rates from

Containerized Freight Rates from the Freightos Baltic Index
FBX LaneGlobalAsia – US West CoastAsia –US East CoastAsia – North EuropeNorth Europe – US East Coast
This Week$4,056$2,978$6,952$7,046$7,531
Last Week-3%-8%-5%-3%5%
Last Year*-59%-82%-63%-52%8%
* Compared to the corresponding week in 2021

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