Market Update

Freight Market Update: July 8, 2020

Ocean and air freight rates and trends; customs and trade industry news plus COVID-19 impacts for the week of June 24, 2020.

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Ocean Freight Market Update

Air Freight Market Update


Freight Market News

Port Congestion Up Ports in Europe and North America are facing increased congestion, due to a continued wave of blank sailings, according to The Loadstar. Fewer sailings mean average TEU moves per port call are up, leading to delays in yards and longer truck lines.

Airfreight Volumes Rise and Dip Transpacific airfreight volumes increased last month, despite the slowdown of emergency medical supply shipments, reports the Journal of Commerce. The rise in overall volume and dynamic load factors from Asia hints at recovery, but summer Transatlantic belly capacity is low as recent rulings limit US passenger travel to Europe.

Europe Proposes CO2 Regulation The European Parliament's environmental committee has developed a proposal to measure ship CO2 emissions and apply cap-and-trade limits under the EU Emissions Trading System. The Maritime Executive reports the full measure is up for vote in September.

Meanwhile, this week, Flexport Chief Economist Dr. Phil Levy noted the following economic highlights:

  • The US jobs report is stronger for June. Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4.8m in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%. This represented a significant, but partial, rebound from the labor market crash of the spring. There are a number of important caveats:
    • The data was collected around June 12. In the week of June 27, weekly unemployment claims were 1.43m, down slightly from 1.48m the week of June 20, but both still very high.
    • Employment in leisure and hospitality rose by 2.1m in June, accounting for over 40% of the monthly gains. That employment is particularly vulnerable to a COVID surge.
    • The employment-population ratio rose 1.8 percentage points to 54.6%, but is still down 6.5 points from February.
  • US exports fell significantly more than imports in May. Goods exports dropped $5.5b to $90b, while goods imports fell $1.3b to $166b. For imports, automotive products fell significantly, and capital goods fell modestly. Consumer goods and industrial supplies imports increased.
  • New US factory orders rose 8.0% in May, after falling in March and April. That left them 16.8% below the February level.
    • Separate ISM survey data showed a further strong jump in the US in June.
    • Manufacturing surveys showed June growth in Germany, France, the UK, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, and Ireland.
    • For China, both manufacturing and service sector surveys showed continued economic recovery in June.

Customs and Trade Updates

USMCA Tidbits On July 1, USMCA came into effect. As a guidance document, CBP released implementation instructions. The ITC released the 14th revision of the HTS which had the new General Note 11 detailing the rules of origin. New SPI indicators S and S+ were also added. 19 CFR Part 182 has been added, but most of it is blank for now. The interim final rule will be used as the framework to finish part 182. The hope is to have Part 182 completed before the end of 2020. There was also guidance posted on drawback claims through a CSMS message. The rules for the Labor Value Content were also released, mandating workers be paid at least $16/hr. CBP is also hosting trade support calls for USMCA between July 6-8 from 2-3 EDT.

US Responds to China's New Security Law on Hong Kong Last week China imposed new laws on Hong Kong. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) released a notice that, effective June 30th, all license exceptions under EAR that were in place for Hong Kong are no longer valid. Exports to Hong Kong will be treated the same way that exports to China are currently, and many controlled dual-use export/re-exports/transfers will now need a license. If an item was exported to Hong Kong prior to June 30th, the exemptions will still apply. Additionally, all defense exports to Hong Kong will be halted, and new visa restrictions put in place for some Chinese government officials.


For a roundup of tariff-related news, visit Tariff Insider.

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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