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FLEXPORT: OCEAN RATES CONTINUE TO TUMBLE, DEMAND REMAINED WEAK
November 17, 2022
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Transpacific Eastbound (TPEB) demand and rates continue their downward trend for November, according to the latest Flexport analysis.

 

The freight forwarder said in its November 15 analysis for Asia-North America, rates remain soft on most origin-destination combinations as capacity is "open" except in a few pockets.

 

"Rates continue to fall for all gateways, nearing rate levels seen pre-pandemic," Flexport said, although noting that carrier reliability is up year-on-year.

 

"Overall TPEB capacity is continuing to grow, some port and rail congestion is still seen at the major US gateways, most notably at Houston as vessel dwell (17-20 days) and Los Angeles/Long Beach as rail dwell (14 days)," it added.

 

For the Asia-Europe ocean freight market, Flexport said demand remains slow through the first half of November and rates are further declining.

 

"Space is readily available but schedule reliability is affected. Port congestion in Europe continues to cause delays and late return of vessels to Asia," it added, noting ongoing pressure on spot rates due to low demand.

 

"Space is generally open despite the impact of blank sailings and vessel delays," Flexport added.

 

In terms of air freight, the freight forwarder noted that for North China — which includes Shanghai — demand is low to the U.S. while demand to EU destinations has dropped from last week.

 

"Charter flights in the market are getting cancelled due to the weak demand and both TPEB and far East Westbound (FEWB) rates have decreased from the week prior," Flexport said.

 

For South China — Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Hong Kong — TPEB rates have decreased from last week due to low demand in the market, while FEWB rates remain the same.

 

"Some TPEB charters continue to be cancelled while FEWB charters are being added in the market," the freight forwarder said.

 

"Due to a Covid outbreak in the Guangzhou area, some manufacturing operations have been affected, resulting in cargo output delays," it added.

 

For Taiwan, Flexport said the overall market is slack as some TPEB market charters have been cancelled due to the low demand. For Korea, the market continues to soften amidst rumours of an unlikely late peak season.

 

Meanwhile, for Southeast Asia, Flexport said the overall export markets continue to be soft if not decreasing in demand.

 

Demand for out of Europe, according to the freight forwarder has slightly increased into some major North American hubs — but "overall demand levels remain low for this time of the year."

 

Flexport said the capacity available in the market is sufficient to meet demand levels.

 

Nonetheless, it noted that ground Handlers DNATA and Menzies are still expected to strike at London Heathrow (LHR) between 18-21 November — leading to disrupted cargo operations, flight cancellations, and delays.

 

For the Americas, Flexport said export demand remains steady from all markets and US airports are running at a "normal pace."

 

"Capacity is opening up further, especially into Europe," Flexport added, noting that rates remain stable week over week.

 

"There is a bit of a shortage of trucking capacity, as well as congestion at airports, which is leading to a longer-than-normal dwell time for inbound cargo. This situation has been slowly improving and is expected to clear up in Q1," it added.

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