Trade Lanes

Trade Lanes

In-depth news and analysis of the world's major shipping trade lanes including the trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe and more.

Several variables can affect a trade lane's popularity — including its inclusion/discontinuance by an ocean carrier. The container line landscape is constantly evolving as market dynamics present new challenges to the industry.


Negotiations for 2019-2020 shipping contracts will be difficult on a number of fronts.

News & Analysis

27 Jan 2022
Container lines have begun to lay out a new wave of hefty peak season surcharges on India-US trades as export demand remains elevated.
21 Jan 2022
With Suez Canal transit tolls rising next month, Indian shippers — already dealing with elevated freight rates — are now seeing new canal-related surcharges on services to North Africa.
19 Jan 2022
Despite an expected return to single-digit monthly increases in imports from Asia this year, already-stressed US ports are still likely to struggle to handle cargo volumes.
18 Jan 2022
Price is taking a back seat to reliability and predictability in this year’s service contract negotiations as shippers push carriers for larger space commitments while carriers are favoring customers with a proven ability to deliver committed volumes on a consistent basis.
13 Jan 2022
Frustration over sailing disruptions continues in the new year for Indian exporters, with MSC skipping calls at Mundra and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust on its INDUSA service this week.
10 Jan 2022
With no sign of relief in the high rate-low value container shipping environment, shippers on the major trades will be hoping the newfound prosperity being enjoyed by carriers results in a vast improvement in service levels.
07 Jan 2022
After 18 months of chaotic supply chains, cargo owners are searching for stability as they look ahead into 2022.
05 Jan 2022
Carriers and their customers began their 2021-22 service contract negotiations several months earlier than usual, seeking stability and predictability is an eastbound trans-Pacific trade roiled by supply chain disruptions.
03 Jan 2022
The trans-Atlantic trade will report significant volume growth in 2021 as heavy US demand fills all available capacity and pushes rates to record levels.
30 Dec 2021
With import volumes in the trans-Pacific projected to remain strong into the new year and water and landside congestion continuing, the first half of 2022 will look eerily similar to 2021.
27 Dec 2021
Pandemic-born disruption will continue forcing logistics practitioners to rework supply chains in 2022 to deal with ongoing congestion and equipment shortages.
16 Dec 2021
HMM India officials said the carrier plans to use a fleet of eight to 12 vessels with an average capacity of 5,000 TEU on its new service linking the Indian port of Kattupalli with the Far East and Latin America.
07 Dec 2021
A growing number of blank sailings comes as carriers are also skipping ports in both Asia and the United States in an effort to recover sailing schedules.
24 Nov 2021
Shippers with no alternative but to secure annual contracts are finding long-term rates at highly elevated levels even as the spot market shows signs of easing.
24 Nov 2021
Zim noted that in addition to significant transit time advantages, its new India string offers customers project cargo services and connections with other markets via its global network.
21 Oct 2021
The inauguration of HMM’s Far East-India-Latin America service comes as freight rates between Asia and Brazil are at a record high of around $13,000/FEU.
15 Oct 2021
The average cost to ship an FEU from India’s main container ports to the US East and West coasts is now hovering near $14,000 for low-volume customers.
08 Oct 2021
A new routing through Jebel Ali builds on a string of additional capacity deployments by foreign mainliners active out of Indian trades, with the US route being the most sought-after bet.
30 Sep 2021
While carriers are enhancing intra-Asia operations, the moves come as shippers are seeing a shortfall in intra-Asia capacity as carriers skip port calls or redeploy larger vessels on main east-west trades, even as volumes surge.
23 Sep 2021
The latest move to tap into India’s export growth comes via a vessel-sharing deal between four regional carriers predominantly operating on intra-Asia trades.
22 Sep 2021
With a declared transit time of 21 days from India’s JNPT to Norfolk, the new string boasts the fastest connection on the booming trade route, with the first westbound sailing scheduled for Oct. 25.
20 Sep 2021
NVOs controlled more than half of total eastbound trans-Pacific volume through the first eight months of 2021, indicating a shift toward reliance on spot rates in the midst of widespread vessel and equipment shortages stemming from a massive spike in consumer demand.
14 Sep 2021
Reduced harvesting in Asia has created additional demand for agricultural goods from the US and Australia, but a shortage of intra-Asia feeder ships is preventing exporters from taking full advantage.
07 Sep 2021
The addition of Halifax reflects MSC’s bullish assessment of India’s export outlook, with elevated sourcing from North American markets being a major contributing factor to a stronger-than-expected volume rebound.
01 Sep 2021
Disruption to Asia-North Europe supply chains is growing as the trade moves into its peak shipping period facing soaring rates and falling service levels.
09 Aug 2021
The head of India’s container shipping lines group says carriers have pulled out all the stops to improve equipment flow and vessel capacity, noting that supply challenges have been compounded by congestion across international hub ports.
27 Jul 2021
The reopening of the US and European economies after last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns spurred a resurgence in the trans-Atlantic container trade as business activity in two of the world’s largest economies showed better than expected growth in May, with increases concentrated at US ports that have undergone major expansions.
23 Jul 2021
North American companies are signaling that they will need to build up larger inventory buffers to meet strong US consumer demand, something that will keep up pressure on ocean freight.
21 Jul 2021
US retail inventories as a percent of sales sits at an all-time low, but many importers and shippers are getting priced out of restocking because of high ocean freight rates.
30 Jun 2021
Indian exporters already facing July general rate increases from carriers have a new cost to worry about — a “heavy lift surcharge” levied by Hapag-Lloyd, with other liners expected to follow suit.
23 Jun 2021
The new shuttle operation in southern India is significant as Colombo and Jebel Ali dominate transshipment movement to and from the east coast of the country.
25 May 2021
Walmart remained atop the list of the 100 largest US importers by a wide margin in 2020, while Koch Industries retained the No. 1 export spot.
24 May 2021
A review of which goods and commodities saw the sharpest decreases and increases in 2020 speaks to how Americans spent their money while socially distanced and which sectors will continue to see heightened demand heading into the traditional peak season before the winter holidays.
03 May 2021
Rates are increasing again on the Asia-East Coast of South America trade even as South American importers are facing a longer wait getting products from Asia.  
22 Apr 2021
Ongoing congestion and delays on the US West Coast have led Hapag-Lloyd to temporarily halt bookings for all cargoes due there from Latin America as carriers announced general rate increases on the trade.