Industry News

Freight Rate Update – January 2019

Ronald Vincent | M.E. Dey & Co.

Here is the latest update on current freight rates for both Import and Export cargo. M.E. Dey provides the best possible rates available to our clients by reviewing various carrier options. We’ll keep you advised and informed as trade updates are announced. 

TransAtlantic Westbound (import)

  • While base rates remain stable, a low water surcharge has been added by many carriers. As well, due to low water as well terminal issues in Antwerp and Rotterdam we have seen delays as barge traffic from inland points has been impacted by low water as well as terminal congestion. We encourage customers to book as early as possible.


TransAtlantic Eastbound (export)

  • Rates remain stable. Space remains tight on many lanes as export volumes continue to increase.
  • We encourage customers to book at least a week in advance.


Trans-Pacific Westbound (export)

  • Rates remain stable. Space remains tight on many lanes as export volumes continue to increase.
  • With some carriers, we are having to book 2 weeks in advance.


Trans-Pacific Eastbound (import)

  • For the first half of January, space to the USWC has opened up a bit. Space to the USEC remains very tight especially from Shanghai.
  • From now until December 15th we expect rates may rise slightly and then begin to reduce in the last half of December.
  • The good news is that the January 1st GRI has been canceled.
  • Most carriers have scheduled a GRI for January 15th. The full amounts that have been filed are $ 480/20’ and $ 600/40’ & 40’HC. We do not expect the full GRI to stick.
  • Chinese New Year begins February 2nd and many carriers have canceled sailings for the first 2 weeks of February. We do expect space to tighten up on all lanes in the second half of January as importers try to move cargo prior to the Chinese New Year shutdown.
  • We encourage all customers to book at least 2-3 weeks in advance.

As mentioned in our recent newsblasts, truck power remains in high demand in many U.S. markets. Chicago continues to see very tight capacity.


M.E. Dey monitors the spot rate market daily. We work to find the best rate and service combination for our customers and pass our savings onto our customers.