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Freight Market Update: March 21, 2023

Ocean and air freight rates and trends; customs and trade industry news plus Covid-19 impacts for the week of March 21, 2023.

Freight Market Update: March 21, 2023

Trends To Watch

  • Transatlantic Westbound (TAWB) – Rates have been steadily declining throughout Q1 thanks in part to the easing of port congestion.
  • LATAM Northbound (LANB) – Schedule reliability has nearly doubled due to lessening port congestion on both ends of the trade.
  • Air capacity out of Asia has been cut due to dropping rates shifting much cargo back to ocean.
  • Airlines have begun retiring freighters and some charters have been canceled, leading to capacity being nearly on par with pre-COVID numbers.
  • In trucking news, the majority of U.S. ports and rail ramps are moving smoothly, with few, if any, delays to be found.

Trade Lane Rate Trends


TPEB – up
FEWB – down
TAWB – down
ISC » U.S. – down


TPEB – down
FEWB – down
TAWB – down

Expert Voices

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Simple steps are often the best place to start developing even the most complex of processes—for example customs compliance strategy.

Customs compliance starts with ensuring accurate product classification. An effective customs strategy, however, looks deeper under the hood at the classification engine, diving into the nuances of how products are classified to identify cost-saving opportunities—a process known as tariff engineering.

Whether classifying for the first time or looking to optimize your classification strategy, the journey begins by understanding the tariff codes in the sprawling resource known as the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Read more in Caroline’s recent blog, Tariff Engineering: Lower Duties Are Possible if You Can Find the Right Customs Codes.

Hear From More Flexport Experts in Our Upcoming Webinars:

Flexport Platform Demo - EU
Thurs, March 23 @ 17:00 CET / 16:00 GMT

Logistics Rewired: Women in Supply Chain - A Panel Discussion
Tues, March 28 @ 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET

Flexport Platform Demo - North America
Weds, April 12 @ 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

North America Freight Market Update Live
Thurs, April 13 @ 9:00 am PT / 12:00 pm ET

The Week In News

MSC Takes Delivery of the World’s Biggest Ultra Large Container Ship

The largest container ship ever built—with a carry capacity of 24,346 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs)—launched last week. Owned by Bank of Communications Financial Leasing, the ship is chartered to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). Chinese officials took the opportunity of the MSC Irinia’s maiden voyage from Zhoushan to highlight the developing expertise of the country’s shipbuilding industry, giving the more established builders in Korea and Japan a run for their money.

West Coast Wipeout: Los Angeles, Long Beach Imports Still Sinking

The Port of Los Angeles has now dropped to third place for throughput at a U.S. port, behind the Port of New York and New Jersey and its own neighbor, the Port of Long Beach. Total throughput at LA in February dropped to 487,846—that’s a drop of 43% year on year. The article quotes Nerijus Poskus, Flexport’s VP of Ocean Strategy, as saying “I think a lot of the transition from the West Coast to the East Coast is permanent.”

Read more news summaries like this in our weekly Supply Chain Snapshots

Read More on the Flexport Blog

Tariff Engineering: Lower Duties Are Possible if You Can Find the Right Customs Codes

Key Learnings and Insights from TPM ‘23

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Please note that the information in our publications is compiled from a variety of sources based on the information we have to date. This information is provided to our community for informational purposes only, and we do not accept any liability or responsibility for reliance on the information contained herein.


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