Industry News

Freight Rate Update: October 2020

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 will keep you advised and informed as trade updates are announced.

Air Freight Rates from Asia to the U.S. did decrease throughout August and space was not as tight as it was in previous months.  Air freight demand was down on most lanes relieving pressure on rates.

As we head into the fourth quarter we expect space to tighten and rates to increase again.  The upcoming Golden Week holiday in China and the end of year holidays in the U.S. we expect demand to increase.

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 and space had tightened a bit.  Rates have remained steady and well below the highest rates we experienced in April, May, and June.


Trans Atlantic Eastbound (export)


  • Rates remain stable. Equipment availability has improved and we are not currently seeing any major delays. 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 encourage customers to book at least a week in advance.


Trans Pacific Eastbound (import)


In September we have seen rates continue to increase. Some of the GRIs (general rate increases) were reduced a bit after the Chinese government warned the steamship lines that they would not tolerate higher rates and intimated that the carriers are being greedy.

The steamship lines have continued to successfully control capacity. They have cautiously added sailings, but not enough to meet demand. 

We continue to see delays with berthing, discharging of containers, and movement to the rail at west coast ports. We expect delays to continue for the next 2 months as the west coast ports struggle to keep up with increased import container volume.

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.

China and much of Asia are currently on a holiday which is a week-long in some countries. We expect demand to be quite strong after the holiday and space to continue to be at a premium. We do not see rates decreasing in October or November.

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.