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Freight

Container freight rates moving to ‘manageable levels’: DHL

The latest DHL Ocean Freight Market Update noted a muted peak season with a downward shift in freight rate levels and demand in key import destinations was starting to slow.

“This year, we did not see the normal rush for space ahead of Golden Week when factories close in China,” said Kelvin Leung, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific.

DHL noted an easing of port congestion on the US West Coast and in Asia although congestion was rising in other areas.

“We’ve seen an easing of port congestion, although labour strikes at ports in the UK are causing some disruption and we’re still seeing vessel queues on the US east coast which has offset improvements at US west coast ports,” said Leung.

Looking at specific trade lanes for October DHL said the Asia – Europe trade said that the general outlook remained due to China’s Golden Week holidays and the weak demand in

Europe. “Port congestion in Europe continues to be a major concern as it results in longer turnaround time for vessels to return to Asia.”

Typhoons were expected to impact schedule reliability and more blank sailings and port omissions were expected.

Looking at Asia – North America it commented: “There is no pre-Golden Week rush before the holidays and we expect demand to be flat in October. Shippers are concerned over a potential rail and security guard strike which may have impact on the operation.” A tentative agreement to avoid a US freight rail strike was reached on 15 September.

“Global supply chains still face a lot of disruption, but we’re seeing service levels from carriers improve as congestion eases and more capacity is freed up, and we expect this trend to continue. However, the balance between supply and demand will be the key to rates stability in the months to come and we are monitoring this development very carefully,” said Dominique von Orelli, Global Head, Ocean Freight, DHL Global Forwarding.

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