To deliver our market insights to our global audiences in the timeliest manner possible, we rely on machine translations to translate these insights from English.

Use these insights to forecast how capacity changes and trends impact your business. Create customized, shareable reports by adding your preferred trade lanes. Check back each month for the latest updates in the lanes you care about. Updated ocean and air freight market insights will be available the third Thursday of each month.

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Trade lane FAQs

Q: What are C.H. Robinson's definitions of ‘stable,’ ‘strained,’ and ‘critical’?

Stable: Green – Relatively open capacity and low spot market rates
Strained: Yellow – Capacity is tight and mid-level spot market rates
Critical: Red – Backlog of capacity and high spot market rates

Q: What do the terms and acronyms commonly used in market updates mean?

  • Blank sailings – Blank sailings occur when a carrier has removed a vessel rotation from a given service string. This results in one week where there is no vessel sailing offered at the ports called on that particular service string.

  • CY – Container Yard. A location where containers are stored temporarily during transit. It can be a port terminal, rail terminal, or trucker’s yard.

  • Extra loader – An extra loader is a vessel that an ocean carrier has added to a service string to increase capacity in the short term. This vessel would not be part of the standard vessel rotation on that service string. It would be removed as soon as it is no longer required to meet excess demand.

  • FEU – Forty Foot Equivalent Unit. The forty foot represents a 40′ container.

  • GRI – General Rate Increase. This is one of the mechanisms ocean carriers can increase rates for ocean transport on a particular trade.

  • IPI – Interior Point Intermodal. Also known as rail ramps, these are inland points to/from which carriers can offer service on a through bill of lading.

  • PSS – Peak Season Surcharge. This surcharge is typically applied by ocean carriers during the peak shipping period on a given trade lane, where vessel space is either fully utilized or overbooked.

  • Roll/roll pools – A “roll“ happens when a container booked on a given sailing/vessel is transferred by the steamship line to the following vessel serving the requested lane. A “roll pool” is created when a steamship line plans for a large number of containers to roll from one vessel to another.

  • SSL – Steamship line or ocean carrier

  • Steamship line alliance – Alliances occur when a group of steamship lines share vessel space on their service strings and manage services in agreement with each other. There are currently three steamship line alliances on the main east-west trades: the Ocean Alliance, 2M Alliance, and The Alliance.

  • TEU – Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit. The twenty foot represents a 20′ container.

  • Transshipment – This service offered transports cargo in two legs on two different vessels. The first vessel brings the container from the port of origin to the port of transshipment. The second vessel brings the container from the port of transshipment to the final destination port.

  • VSA – Vessel Sharing Agreement. This is an agreement between steamship lines to share slots (space) on a service string or vessel.

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