October 2022 Ocean Market Update

By In Insight On 13th October 2022

Tip of the Month

Carriers are voiding many services or combining them to maintain balance between capacity and demand.   

We recommend customers verify with the NNR team on available services and schedules offered by carriers to ensure booking the right one. Schedule as early as possible to reserve a spot. 

We are starting to see fewer delays and bottlenecks in the container market. Experts are predicting a market normalization by Q1- 2023. If normalization occurs, equipment and space will be easier to come by, and congestion will be rare and minimal.

Strikes and Negotiations 

However, there are still ongoing strikes at European ports in the U.K. and Germany. Meanwhile, the unresolved West Coast contract negotiation between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) could exert the opposite influence, pushing back the timeline to market normalization. Both parties have stated that no one wants any disruptions to the already strained container logistics, but neither has guaranteed that it won’t happen anyway. The U.S. railroad negotiations are also in progress, with only 4 of 12 unions ratifying the tentative agreement reached in September.  


While congestion is easing in Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, other USA ports such as Oakland, Houston, Savannah, and Mobile, and Canadian ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert are still congested and working on clearing their backlogs. Please check our port update report for the latest status updates.

Demand and Capacity 

As the demand for containers continues to fall, especially on the transpacific trade lane, carriers are removing capacity by applying blank sailings, which will be felt in Week 41. Capacity will drop to the U.S. West Coast (USWC) and the U.S. East Coast (USEC). Carriers utilize this practice to keep rates from falling and maintain some equilibrium in the container market. 

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