Freight market report – October 2022
Our latest freight market report provides multi-modal situation updates and insights, together with strike and carrier updates, that will provide you with critical insights for the weeks ahead.
Air freight rates on most major trade lanes continue to soften, while ocean rates from Asia- Europe have dipped nearly 68% since the start of the year, but remain considerably higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Carriers are (increasingly desperately) reducing capacity by cancelling (blanking) sailings to try and prevent further rate erosions, but despite their best efforts, rates may continue to decline.
European road freight rates hit an all-time high in 2022 as rising cost pressures, supply and capacity disruptions, regulatory change and war in Ukraine created a potent mix of rate drivers.
Rates are likely to continue softening, due to weak demand and despite the lines attempts, there is no structural support to sustain them, with analysts suggesting that permanent capacity withdrawals may be required.
Shippers faced long delays and significantly higher freight costs throughout the pandemic, while carriers made bumper profits, but market dynamics are changing, with power shifting back to shippers.
Bunkers prices have softened, which is contributing to the rate erosion and we anticipate further reductions, although at a slow pace. UK Fuel surcharges remain high even with fuel pricing softening,
- The tables have turned and it is shippers turn now!!
- Demand has been cooling off at an accelerated rate, with a bleak outlook
- Carriers are blanking sailings to try and prevent further rate erosion
- Felixstowe and Liverpool strikes are still ongoing
Improving conditions in sea freight, lower sales and high inventory levels has combined to reduce demand for air freight and while volumes have softened they are stable.
As demand has slackened, so rates have softened on most trade lanes and though month-on-month reductions continue (globally) rates in July were +23% higher than the same period in 2021.
While demand has softened, it is low but stable on most trade lanes, down 10% on 2021. Overall scheduled capacity is down 9% compared to pre-pandemic levels, but continued monthly improvements have combined to take it 16% above last last year.
- The airfreight market for September remained flat
- We are expecting only a small uptick in October
- Carriers may park aircraft to reduce capacity
- Rising jet fuel prices is the primary obstacle to pre-COVID level rates
The continuing shortage of drivers and rocketing fuel prices in the wake of the Russia/Ukraine war drove up rates, but rising prices, inflation and waning consumer activity is contributed to a weakening demand for European road freight.
Road freight capacity utilisation had eased over the summer months, but worsened again in September, in the run up to the autumn/winter peak season.
Post-pandemic truck utilisation has fallen substantially with a decline in driver numbers and a surge in inefficient empty backhaul miles. Our transport teams work closely with colleagues across Europe to centralise freight and simplify access to return loads to avoid empty miles.
- European road freight rates hit an all- time high in 2022
- Smaller road freight providers suffer most from operating costs increases
- Driver shortages remain an acute problem in the European market
- EU Mobility Package could impact capacity, costs and rates
However bleak our market reports may seem on occasion, we have the solutions, processes and capability to protect your supply chain, however demanding your needs are.
To discuss any of the issues highlighted here, or to discover the value that PSP Worldwide would bring to your supply chain please EMAIL our managing director, Colin Redman.
We continuously monitor the evolving logistics environment, to share breaking news and developments, so that you can make the informed decisions that will protect your supply chain.