Industry News

Freight Rate Update: November 2020

Ronald Vincent | M.E. Dey & Co.

Air Freight – Rates from Asia to the U.S. stabilized on most lanes throughout October.

As we head into the fourth quarter & holiday season we expect space to tighten and rates to increase again.

We continue to move air freight shipments daily. In most cases, we need to make bookings 3-7 days in advance.

Space from Europe is less of an issue and rates have stabilized. Please contact us with shipment details. We can then provide standard options/pricing as well as propose creative solutions that may meet your service requirements while also reducing additional costs.

Trans Atlantic Westbound (import)


  • Import volumes from Europe have stabilized. Space was not as tight in October and rates have remained stable.


Trans Atlantic Eastbound (export)


  • Rates remain stable. Equipment availability has improved, but we are seeing some delays at both coasts due to rail and coastal port congestion.
  • We encourage customers to book at least a week in advance.


Trans Pacific Westbound (export)


  • We have seen slight rate increases on some lanes, but overall rates are stable. Equipment availability has not been an issue.
  • We are seeing some delays at both coasts due to rail and coastal port congestion.
  • We encourage customers to book at least a week in advance.


Trans Pacific Eastbound (import)


October brought a bit of stability to rates. Rates continue to be at a 20+ year high, but some GRIs were canceled or reversed.

The steamship lines have continued to successfully control capacity and continue to cancel ‘blank’ some sailings while adding vessels on other lanes. The result is that space is incredibly tight from most origins in Asia. As well, container shortages are increasing, particularly for 40’HC equipment.

We continue to see delays with berthing, discharging of containers, and movement to the rail at west coast ports and we expect this to continue throughout November. We are also seeing more vessels depart 2-3 days late from origin. This appears to be due to congestion at U.S. destination ports.

The worst congestion we have experienced is at Vancouver port. Los Angeles/Long Beach is second on the list and we are expecting longer delays throughout November.

From what we see, the steamship lines arrange additional vessels without consulting or even advising the destination ports to determine if the ports can process the additional volume timely.

 In past years we would expect rates to drop in December and capacity to open up. With the extraordinary economic and health environment we find ourselves in this year, it does not appear at this moment that we will see this happen. Some carriers have already announced a GRI to take effect on December 1st. The GRI amounts range from $ 1000 – $ 1200 per 40’ container.

We continue to monitor capacity and port congestion levels to adjust routings for the best possible service.

M.E. Dey and Co. monitors the market daily to find competitive rates that pair well with exceptional transportation services. We provide fixed rate contracts in addition to standard market rates. Contact us to talk with a representative or request a quote to get started.