Skip to Main Content (Press Enter Key)

Rising Cost of Deep-Sea Freight

05 August 2021

High demand and low capacity continue to drive up the cost of deep-sea freight. 

The Global Ocean Freight market is very difficult to navigate right now, and it is far from plain sailing for importers, exporters and freight forwarders who need to move their goods from continent to continent in a reliable and cost-effective way. 

The economic recovery from COVID-19 has created a continuous rise in global demand for deep-sea freight over the past nine months; but ongoing problems with carrier capacity, container supply, port restrictions, and route congestion have severely reduced availability across ocean routes Worldwide. 

All of these problems have led to a perfect storm of low capacity and rising prices, making it extremely difficult and costly for both Freight Forwarders and Importers/Exporters, with the Ocean Carriers emerging as the only real winners. 

What has caused this rising tide of price increases and reduced capacity? Some of the core contributing factors are as follows: 

  • The recent Suez Canal incident has had a massive knock on effect on route congestion and rates. 
  • The reliability of Ocean Carrier schedules has deteriorated over the past 12-18 months, schedule integrity is running at approximately 30%. 
  • There is a severe shortage of empty containers in both Europe and Asia.
  • There is heavy congestion in all ports globally, but particularly in Europe. 
  • The Asia / Europe trade lane is currently at 100% capacity. 
  • Yantian Port in China had been closed due to a COVID 19 case, causing huge backlogs.
  • North America / Europe trade lane is also at 100% capacity, and a lack of trucker availability is impacting USA door collections / deliveries.
  • Ocean Carriers have implemented blank sailing programs, temporary booking stops, and cuts to allocations and capacity on several routes in an attempt to clear backlogs and bring service schedules back to normal.

All of these issues are expected to cause continuous disruptions until at least the end of Q3 2021, making it even more important that Irish Importers and Exporters work with an experienced Ocean Freight partner to find solutions that will maximise reliability and minimise costs. 

Ace Express Freight are the exclusive Ireland agent for global freight forwarder Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. Hellmann have a robust global carrier partnership programme with strong relationships at country, regional and global levels; empowering our Ocean Freight Team to obtain strong support from the Ocean Carriers for our Irish customers. We also have our own dedicated in-house Customs Team to manage all aspects of Export / Import Customs Clearance, ensuring smooth passage for your shipments.

If you have an Ocean Freight requirement, we are ready and waiting to help! Due to the current capacity issues, we ask that customers allow a three-week booking window as extra time is required to secure the equipment and space for your shipment from the Ocean Carriers.

Talk to our Ocean Freight Team today: 
T: +353 1 87028600 (option 8) E: