Update: Ocean & Air Markets + Supply Chain Security

December 10, 2020

TPEB Ocean

  • Most carriers have extended their rates until December 14, however, due to ongoing space and equipment shortages, carriers released a premium surcharge at USD1500-2500/FEU, in order to protect regular cargo flows, and limit FAK space allocation
  • Many steamship lines have implemented a cancellation fee for the premium service, which applies to any cancellations after booking has been received
  • CMA/HMM/MSC/HPL have imposed an Emergency Intermodal surcharge earlier this month
  • Capacity remains extremely tight for all of December, beginning to fill up for the first 2 weeks of January, and will continue to be an issue up to Chinese New Year
  • There are continuous vessel delays in Central and North China due to port congestion, averaging 10-12 days
  • A shortage of empty containers continues to be a major challenge, especially for Central and North China
  • There has been a new incident report for FP2-ONE APUS (JONP) 006E where about 1900 containers went over-board due to bad weather in the Pacific
  • Annual worldwide ocean cargo losses exceed over $2 billion each year due to damages caused by weather and other unforeseen events. Ask one of our sales or operations team members about cargo insurance and/or alternative solutions.
  • Chinese government has decided to suspend terminal operations in the Pearl River Delta due to quarantine requirement
  • ONE, COSCO, and MSC have announced the suspension of feeder vessels into Yantian and Hong Kong from mid-January to the end of February, and others are expected to follow
  • The suspension could cause massive disruptions for factories/shippers in surrounding South China, such place as Guangzhou, Jiangmen, Zhongshan as 95% of this cargo is moved by feeder vessels to the main ports such as HKG or YTN
  • Most carriers have extended rates until December 14
  • Capacity from South East Asia continues to be an issue, as carriers have not positioned empty containers into this region
  • Due to the current situation, some carriers such as MSC are now offering guaranteed equipment options, but only based on a premium surcharge
  • Capacity ex-India continues to be very tight, with the biggest challenge being the shortage of equipment.
  • Carriers continue to implement higher surcharges to support the demand and FAK rates are skyrocketing. On average, the freight cost has gone up by 190% for various destinations in West Asia and by 159% and 54% for those in Europe and the US.
  • On a positive note, Port of Colombo operations have returned to normal following a couple of weeks of congestion due to COVID-19 labor shortages

Security & Supervision

  • Masterpiece Security Group offers peace of mind to clients and carriers moving high-value, sensitive, and mission-critical shipments through the supply chain. MSG’s licensed staff and a fleet of tarmac vehicles oversee and expedite cargo handling to ensure supervision at all points during transit for the most transparent solutions. Learn more…


  • Airfreight rates from China & Hong Kong to North America have increased and are expected to stay strong up to the winter holidays
  • Due to the serious cargo congestion in US airports, some airlines have canceled flights to dig out from cargo that has not yet been released, with delays as long as (8) days
  • Airfreight rates have also increased into South East Asia, fluctuating on a weekly basis
  • Charter capacity has been removed from the market expecting high demand in the coming weeks due to needed vaccine movement

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