Global Freight Market Insights

Impact your business with timely information on global freight trends that could affect capacity availability, pricing, and more. Create and download custom reports by adding your preferred ocean and air trade lanes—then, check back monthly for updates.

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Shipping lane updates

Use this tool to forecast how capacity and rate trends impact your business. Create customized, shareable reports by adding your preferred trade lanes. Check monthly for updates in the shipping routes 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 use to 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.

Market insight videos

Watch these short videos to gain a better understanding of the market dynamics affecting global supply chains and the movement of goods around the globe.

Wheeled v. grounded U.S. inland terminals

Wheeled v. grounded U.S. inland terminals

Explore the difference between wheeled and grounded U.S. inland terminals with Jenna Kuehn, Director of Global Forwarding Inland at C.H. Robinson.

The chassis shortage

The chassis shortage

Learn about the dynamics behind equipment shortages in the U.S. inland market with Jenna Kuehn, Director of Global Forwarding Inland at C.H. Robinson.

Watch Oceania’s airfreight market forecast

Help minimize supply chain disruptors, while providing ways your supply chain can tackle the peak season. Included are key solutions you can adopt to lift the strain on your business and reduce the impact it can have on operations.

Get a free global freight forwarding consultation

Discover how our deep expertise and seamless, multimodal set of global services can help you realize potential ocean and air savings.