Freight Market Update

10 May 2024
by Sam Cullen

Table of contents

By Sam Cullen
Published: 10/05/24
Last Edited: 15/05/24

Topic of the week:

As the Red Sea Crisis continues, the risk zone for vessel attacks has reportedly expanded offshore, after Houthi chief Abdul Malik Al-Houthi stated they would be upping operations. After the hijack of the MSC Aries weeks back, Maersk have reported that the further effects of the situation include “bottlenecks and vessel bunching, as well as delays and equipment and capacity shortages.” Maersk have also stated that the subsequent re-routing of vessels around the Cape of Good Hope, requires around 40% more fuel per vessel, which is why increased surcharges are to be expected. The carrier have experienced around 15% to 20% lost capacity and according to The Loadstar Maersk have set to alter their peak season surcharge on Asia-North Europe, tripling from $250 per teu to $750 as of the 11th May.

It is common knowledge now, that the Red Sea Crisis has forced carriers and shippers to seek alternative methods of transporting their cargo. The International Road Transport Union (IRU) president Radu Dinescu, addressed the importance of transport across the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) region, “in 2024, corridors crossing the region became even more important for international goods transport.” The road transport industry now seems to be feeling the effects of the situation as congestion and delays “cause economic losses.” Prior to the Red Sea Crisis road freight volumes throughout this region from China to Europe reached over 1.6m tonnes between January and August 2023, an 84% increase from 2022. However, due to the recent climate, east-west trade has been impacted, forcing the BSEC Union of Road Transport Associations (URTA) to outline plans for the way forward. Dinescu stated, “Investment in both hard infrastructure and soft procedures, services and tools are needed to keep up with increasing transit traffic. To ease border delays and reduce costs, we need to accelerate digitalisation – especially with eTIR, but also e-CMR, ePermits and eVisas.”

Albania has implemented the Single Window Project (SWP) which makes border crossings simpler and more efficient by simplifying transit procedures by allowing international traders to submit information to one agency instead of multiple. Beşar Kadia, the Albanian deputy minister of foreign affairs highlighted the importance of tackling the main issues that truck drivers are facing when crossing borders including “long queues and the absence of secure truck parking areas with even the most elementary facilities along key transit routes.”

As the Red Sea Crisis expands, its effects can be felt throughout the entire industry impacting all modes. Stay tuned for further updates.


  • Over the last two weeks China/East Asia to North America West Coast spot rates have increased by 16.9% from $2,910/FEU to $3,404/FEU according to Freightos data.
  • China/East Asia to North America East Coast spot rates have risen over the last two weeks, increasing by 9.5% to $4,702/FEU.
  • Global container spot prices have risen over the last two weeks, and are now sitting at $2,560/FEU, a 8.8% increase over the last two weeks, but a 70.9% increase from spot rates this time in 2023 according to the Freightos Baltic Index (FBX)


  • Global Air Freight spot rates currently sit at $2.4, as rates continue to fluctuate according to the Freightos Air Freight Index (FAX)
  • Europe to Northern America spot rates currently sit at $1.77 (100-3000kg), says FAX, decreasing by 1.6%
  • Europe to Asia, Greater China spot rates currently sit at $1.33 (100-3000kg), says FAX, increasing by 2.3%
  • New freighter flights to Riga Airport have been launched by Lufthansa Cargo in response to the increasing demand in Latvia from manufacturers and importers. This new once per week service will allow Latvian manufacturers to expand into new markets within the Lufthansa network as well as being able to forward plan and import more conveniently.
  • American Airlines is expanding cargo capacity on its US to Europe and Asia Services throughout summer. They will now be operating from a range of airports including Barcelona-El Prat Airport, Copenhagen Airport and Venice Marco Polo Airport. American Airlines will also be switching up some of its seasonal routes making them year-round services including Barcelona-El Prat and Lisbon Airport to Philadelphia International Airport as well as Madrid-Barajas Airport to CLT.

That’s all for this week’s update…

Check out our other insights and articles for more in depth industry news and trending topics, or get in contact to discuss some of our best in class freight forwarding services!

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