January witnessed a significant increase in worldwide air cargo demand, contrasting with the consistent demand for US container imports aligned with pre-COVID peak season patterns. The shift of Asia-Europe cargo from sea to air, spurred by disruptions in the Red Sea and the later Lunar New Year in 2024, adds to the complexity of the logistics landscape.
Despite these challenges, and the ongoing security threats in the Red Sea prompting vessel reroutes, along with the Panama Canal’s reduced transits for larger container ships, the resilience of U.S. imports is notable. Drewry’s World Container Index decreased by 4% to $3,824 per 40ft container this week.
U.S. East Coast – Import: East Coast port congestion has remained minimal.
U.S. & Canada West Coast – Import: Congestion has eased at West Coast ports.
U.S. West Coast – Export: We continue to see gate capacity restrictions and limited rail reservations available at inland points such as Chicago. Carriers are accepting bookings from inland ramps but not in the volume needed in the market.
U.S. Midwest – Inbound & Outbound: Trucking capacity is down and readily available. Rail availability is stable.
Ocean Freight Insights
FEWB: The Red Sea crisis continues to strain freight markets, with carriers facing delays and equipment shortages. Shippers are advised to adapt and consider premium services to mitigate operational challenges.
TAWB: With demand stable but no peak expected in February, carriers adjust to Red Sea developments, anticipating rate increases and equipment shortages, particularly in Europe.
Global Air Cargo Update
January’s air cargo demand surged across all major global regions, except for ex-North America, reflecting a robust market despite ocean freight disruptions. With ocean freight spot rates from Asia to Europe tripling, and air cargo rates remaining relatively stable, the landscape is rapidly evolving.
We are continuing to monitor all lanes, ports, and services to provide you with the best possible service at the best possible price.
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.