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East-West trade lane continues to face supply-demand mismatch

Rising freight rates and reduced space have disrupted FEWB trade. UK import ocean freight demand has remained steady amidst the fluctuating economy, whilst carriers have carefully managed vessel capacity based on their forecasts and efficiency.

However, this essential trade route has been largely impacted by the well-documented Red Sea shipping crisis. Whether you are importing or exporting, planning has become more difficult as sailing schedules are continually adjusted.

The knock-on effect of delays or equipment problems have compounded over the last six months, causing extended transit times, higher costs, and less certainty for all.

Furthermore, demand has recently experienced a surge as more traders and forwarders seek to book by volume to get ahead of the complications. This has caused a situation reminiscent of the pandemic, with rising competition for bookings and complications over reliability – meaning some shipments cannot be fulfilled despite early booking.

From the start of May, carriers introduced freight rate increases to help combat their rising costs, and we anticipate that there will be more price hikes to come as equipment imbalances really start to bite.

As always, Cory Brothers remains up to date on the current situation and endeavours to provide you with the best solution for getting your goods to you in a safe and cost-effective way.

If you’d like to discuss contingencies for transiting your goods, Cory Brothers provides LCL, airfreight, and rail freight as alternative options to ocean freight.

Get in touch for more information on how we can help stabilise your supply chain today.

Long- and short-term rate differences reminiscent of the pandemic landscape

With rates climbing month-on-month, short-term rates have grown significantly against their long-term counterparts – despite general rate increases (GRIs) issued against both. Subsequently, carriers are prioritising their higher-revenue contracts and rolling other shipments.

As the demand for both space and equipment continues to rise on the Asia – Europe and Asia – US trade lanes, so will the rates.

If you’d like to discuss a strategy for stockpiling your product ahead of anticipated rate hikes, get in touch for more information.

Red Sea Conflict Supply Chain

European export trade remains steady

Equipment levels in Europe remain consistent following an increase of imports in Q1. 

Commenting on the region in their Q1 report, Maersk CEO Vincent Clerk shared that there was an element of restocking in Europe during Q1 following a cautious 2023, which he believed had caused the 9% increase in imports to the region this year.

As a result, equipment availability in Europe remains consistent for now across all outbound trade lanes.

Our tips for import planning with market fluctuations


Provide a clear forecast of your intended bookings and ready dates.

Help us to understand when your goods will be available so that we can plan as far in advance as possible. It is far easier for us to ship goods in a timely manner when we know when they will be ready, as opposed to being informed once it is available for collection.


Regularly communicate with your Cory account manager

Know which areas are facing difficulties and manage contingencies with regular communication. You can also rely on our Cory+ software to help you have an overview of how your shipments are progressing.


Ensure your suppliers provide clear and accurate updates

Schedules change and production can sometimes be delayed, but we can’t do anything if we don’t know about it. Make sure your suppliers understand how important updates and the early provision of paperwork is to getting your goods shipped in a timely manner.


Build tolerance and flexibility into your timelines

Don’t plan for a vessel to arrive on day one with delivery to your premises on day two and delivery to your customers’ outlets on day three. Speed is paramount, but reliability is king. Work with your Cory partner to balance risks when making commitments to your customers.


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Need advice?

Cory Brothers is dedicated to helping you navigate the changing tides of global logistics, working with you to strategise and stay afloat in the tougher times.

Whether we can help you with competitive rates, keeping your stock levels secure with offsite storage, or cost-efficient planning of customs and tax spend – we are here for you.

Contact us for more information today.

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