Shipping & Logistics Update – March 2023 

market update march 2023

Highlight: MegaMax Ships to Hit the Market In 2023 

The top 11 container lines across the globe are expected to get 89 more large containers vessels over the year 2023. It includes 31 MegaMax Containers (MGX), 41 NeoPanamx (NPX), and 9 mainline vessels (XXX), which are greater than 7’000 TEU. However, delivery of some of these ships could be delayed till next year, depending on the market demand. 

The wave of these demands will begin when the 24’116 TEU MSC TESSA becomes a part of Ningbo service’s ‘AE6/Lion’. With this, the vessel will become the largest containership in the world. However, it will last for a few days, since a 24,188 TEU OOCL SPAIN will join Far East-North Europe ‘LL3 loop on 21st March, after leaving Shanghai on March 18th. Several other containerships are also expected to join the shores, including 24,346 TEU MSC IRINA joining Asia-Med ‘AE10/Jade Service’ on March 21. The other includes 24,116 TEU MSC CELESTINO MARESCA joining ‘AE6/Lion’ on 28th March, MSC RAYA in Shanghai on 9th April, and 23’666 TEU BERLIN EXPRESS joining The Alliance loop of Far East-North Europe. 

Ocean Freight Overview – March 2023

++ Strong Increase 
+ Moderate Increase 
= No Change 
 Moderate Decline 
 Strong Decline 


Middle East – North America

The capacity for this trade lane is forecasted to be flat over the month, with the slight decrease in the rates. The capacity is above demand for Turkey and the ships are not sailing in full. The space has opened for Asia because of the soft rates offered for Asia-US demand.  

Capacity — (=)   

Rate — (-)   

Note: US port congestion has improved. However, the space out of Gulf is tight.  

Middle East – Asia

The capacity and spot rates are predicted to be flat over the month for this trade lane. The rate for cargo from Turkey to China ports has reached the pre-pandemic level, and the available capacity is above the current demand.  

Capacity — (=)    

Rate — (=)   

Note: There is a rate rebound for the Gulf services after Chinese New Year.  

Middle East – Europe    

For this trade lane, the capacity will remain flat; whereas the rates will decrease slightly. On 21st February, MSC updated the route of West Med-WAF to Turkiye-West Med-WAF, which added a Turkey connection to MED. 

Capacity — (=)   

Rate — (-)   

Note: ONE added on the Aliaga and Izir call connection to STS service; however, the demand remains narrow.  

Middle East – Latin America   

The spot rates and capacity will remain the same for this trade lane. However, the space is expected to improve, since less active carriers like WHL, EMC, and YML are also offering space for this trade lane.  

Capacity — (=)    

Rate — (=)  

Inbound Updates   

Asia – Middle East

For the Middle East markets, there is volume surge due to early Eid holidays this year, and considering the Pre-Lunar New Year’s blank sailings, the GRIs are strong for all the Gulf and Red Sea markets. The East MD market is affected by the blank sailings program, specifically because of The Alliance. However, the members of the non-Alliance are trying to counterbalance to avoid sudden GRIs. 

Capacity — (-)   

Rate — (+)   

Note: The predictions show volume surge for Middle East markets.  

North America – Middle East

The capacity is opening up for the services in the MENA area and Turkey/Egypt, while the rates are softening. The earthquake in Turkey/Syria has left the port of Iskenderun closed indefinitely for Mersin.  

Capacity — (+)   

Rate — (-)   

Note: The port of TR is likely to take all the cargo for humanitarian relief to Iskenderun.  

Latin America – Middle East    

For Latin America’s exports, there is a downward trend for Med markets, and the rates are back to their pre-COVID levels. 

Capacity — (=)   

Rate — (-)     

Note: Central America exports and trade to Africa stay at a high level.  

Europe – Middle East

The capacity remains still for this trade lane with the prices slightly decreasing. The capacity for East Med is easily available and for short and long-term contracts the rates will remain soft.  

Capacity — (=)   

Rate — (=/-)  

Note: There are no issues with the equipment. 

Air Freight Overview – March 2023

Demand: The PMI index for this month is showing low exports as the volume isn’t increasing. Luckily, the volumes are predicted to recover later in 2023. Furthermore, the rates for air cargo are highly affected by the Ukranian crisis, Turkey/Syria earthquake, and high inflation. 

Capacity: The capacity has increased, so now the current demand can easily be met, which means no bottlenecks are expected. Furthermore, this may lead to improvement in the CN PAX market as well.  

Rates: The spot rates will remain aggressive on most of the trade lanes. However, in the second half of 2023, the long-term rates may increase. 

The Middle East and Air Carriers

In 2022, the carriers in the Middle East experienced a loss of around USD 1.1 billion. However, in 2023, they are expected to gain USD 268 million due to the increase in the passenger demand growth rate to 23.4. Moreso, the air cargo industry experienced more benefits due to the rerouting occurred after Russia-Ukraine war.  


Things are looking up in North China because of more people shopping online and the usual end-of-the-month stuff. Down in South China, rates are going up due to demand increase, but flights getting canceled means there won’t be enough supply. 

Over in Taiwan, the market’s pretty slow and there’s no sign of things getting better anytime soon. 

People thought there’d be less shipping capacity coming out of China in March but turns out things are leveling out and rates are dropping. 

And finally, things aren’t looking great in Southeast Asia – the market’s soft and demand’s the same, so it looks like March won’t be much better. 


In the American markets, people still want to buy exports and the prices are staying about the same every week. There’s more space available now, especially for sending stuff over to Europe. And good news: all the airports in the US are running just like usual. 


There’s been a lot of ups and downs with the rates for shipping between different places, but it looks like more people are trying to ship stuff lately. If you want to go straight there, it’s going to cost more and take longer, but there are some cheaper options with layovers. And don’t worry, things are running pretty smoothly in the big shipping spots – no major problems or delays. 

Shipping Local News – United Arab Emirates – March 2023 

The MOFAIC has a new system for electronic attestation of commercial invoices starting from Feb 1, 2023. Some rules apply for certain types of declarations or expensive invoices. Read More 

Hapag-Lloyd has a new edition of IMDG Code coming up in 2024, but you can follow it voluntarily starting Jan 1, 2023. Read More 

Maersk is still dealing with the earthquake that hit Turkey/Syria in Feb 2023, and they’re helping with relief packages. Read More 

The European Union is rolling out a new automated security and safety process for cargo and mail called Import Control System 2 starting March 1, 2023. Read More 

Maersk changed their SLA and it’s mandatory to follow the new rules to get paid or receive important documents. Read More 

Hapag-Lloyd has a new Marine Fuel Recovery update starting April 1, 2023, which will be a surcharge mentioned separately on bills and invoices. Read More 

CMA CGM is revising their Bill of Lading export fees starting April 1, 2023. Read More 

Lotus Shipping is extending their services to Hodeidah port, Yemen through Djibouti. Read More 

UAFL Shipping is increasing their operational equipment surcharge in Moroni starting March 1, 2023, after a rise in the Moroni Terminal Tariff in Jan 2023. Read More 

Global Factory Output – Overview

The Drewry World Container Index (WCI) dropped by 2% and now stands at $1,859 per 40ft container. This means that prices have returned to normal levels. 

United States of America USA  

The composite PMI for the US rose from 46.8 in January to 50.2 in February 2023, indicating that output across the private sector has remained largely unchanged due to a slow decline in manufacturing production and a slight increase in service sector output. Input cost inflation has slowed since October 2020, while output charges have increased. 

United Kingdom UK

The UK’s composite PMI increased sharply from 48.5 in January to 53.0 in February 2023, signaling quick expansion in the private sector, with growth in both the service and manufacturing sectors. Inflation prices have slightly eased, particularly in the service sector. 


China’s composite PMI rose from 51.1 in December 2022 to 51.1 in January 2023, with the service sector expanding for the first time in five months. New orders have started to grow at a marginal rate. Input costs have risen, but prices charged have remained steady. 

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The UAE’s PMI fell to a one-year low of 54.1 in January, but rebounded strongly in February, particularly in the non-oil business sector. Activity levels have increased due to the boost in order inflow.  

Global Interesting News 

Freight News


Surge in freighter orders by carriers, despite ‘paradigm shift’ in air cargo Read More 

Polar Air Cargo ‘was the victim’ in ‘illegal payments’ case Read More 

Plunging airfreight rates and no post CNY pick-up: ‘the end of globalisation?’ Read More 

Small airlines bottom of the pile for SAF Read More 

South African cargo airline Suid poised for launch Read More 

Qantas plans to add more freighters Read More 

IAG Cargo to charge for paper air waybills Read More 

Cosco opens sea and air logistics centre in Guangzhou Read More 

Hong Kong Airport aims to further enhance sea-air services Read More 

Kuehne+Nagel partners with Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport Read More 

EV Cargo becomes sole shareholder of Allport Netherlands Read More 

Kuehne+Nagel partners with Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport Read More 

US air cargo sector concerned over stricter screening rules Read More 

DHL Express launches GoGreen Plus Read More 

Network Airline Management transports relief aid to Turkey with B747F flights Read More 

UPS providing relief supplies to Turkey via Cologne-Istanbul airbridge Read More 

Oman Air Cargo highlights Oman’s logistics capabilities to major international air freight partners Read More 

Emirates SkyCargo and Air Canada Cargo sign agreement to enhance networks and reach Read More 

Etihad Cargo expands European capacity Read More 

Spright orders 40 Blueflite drones Read More 

Canada’s Edmonton Airport eyes expanded drone services Read More 

FedEx pilot leaders set the stage for possible strike Read More 

A Positive Outlook for Aviation & The Importance of Being a Socially Responsible Airline Read More 

Formula 1 announces Qatar Airways as new Global Airline Partner in multi-year deal Read More 

Chinese cargo airline SF invests in airframe repair station Read More 

Qatar Airways Cargo Partners with INOMAD, an all-in-one Air Cargo Platform Read More 

Kuehne + Nagel looks to grow share of Southeast US air cargo market Read More 

American Airlines Cargo partners with BioNatur Plastics Read More 

American Airline Cargo transports Fresh Flowers Read More 

CMA CGM extends air cargo service to Shanghai Read More 

Kuehne+Nagel offers a SAF option with Lenovo Read More 

New series talks about air freight consolidation Read More 

CargoAi unveils new payments solution Read More 

Apex Logistics welcomes the last Queen freighter Read More 

Qatar Airways Cargo enhances Courier service; increases service between Munich and Doha Read More 


Why a ‘dramatic’ drop in freight rates is ‘double-edged’ for procurement Read More 

Ocean carriers ‘boxed in’ by 5m teu surplus equipment mountain Read More 

Euro/US exporters back in favor as carriers seek backhaul cargo Read More 

Containership lay-ups continue to spike as demand slump rolls on Read More 

Cross-alliance cooperation on the increase as the market weakens Read More 

Worker shortages won’t be solved by more pay, a career path is key Read More 

More blank sailings and detours as ONE’s volumes, and earnings, fall Read More 

Li-ion batteries pose a risk to freight ro-ro services Read More  

Ukraine wants to insure ships to promote exports Read More 

Maersk stuck with ghost ship in Russian port Read More 

‘Colossal’ tidal wave of new container ships about to strike Read More 

BlueCargo raises $11M to bring visibility to drayage fees Read More 

Greece-owned tankers ship Russian cargoes from Baltic ports Read More 

Maersk Sues Evergreen Over Suez Canal Blockage Read More 

Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach report January volume declines Read More 

Traxens upgrades container tracker to meet new explosion safety requirements on ships Read More 

Jeddah Port scoops Port of the Year Award beating top international rivals Read More 

Maersk Supply Service seals cable layer contract extension with Seaway 7 Read More 

New capacity enters ‘thriving’ Russian container sector Read More 

HMM creates a digital system to track and move empty containers Read More 

Hapag-Lloyd kicks off retrofits of 100 ships with new propellers and bulbous bows Read More 

CMA CGM books another dozen 13,000 teu methanol-powered ships Read More 

Hapag-Lloyd agrees on LNG supply deal with Shell for 12 new vessels Read More 


Maritime Gateway Releases the South Asia Container Market Report 2022 Read More 

IAG Cargo adds Heathrow to Amsterdam freighter capacity Read More 

Road feeder services getting closer to zero emissions with electric project Read More 

How dire are electric truck maker Nikola’s finances? Read More 

Borderlands: Nearshoring creates booming demand for border logistics facilities Read More 

Falling used truck prices push largest dealership network to sidelines Read More 

Is FedEx Ground looking to zero out 3rd-party influence? Read More 

Dynamic pricing is heading LTL’s way — or is it? Read More 

Can electric trucks make sense for digital brokerages? Read More 

South Africa’s Transnet looking for partner to operate Joburg/Durban rail corridor Read More 

WiseTech brings in rail game with $414m purchase Read More 

Europe: the rise in road transport prices comes to an end Read More 


Top PE investor buys up majority of ambitious Scan Global Logistics Read More 

Gebrüder Weiss announces a new location in Albania Read More 

Russian carrier and 22 ships added to US sanctions lists Read More 

4th consecutive weekly drop posted for benchmark diesel price Read More 

Pandemic exposed global pharmaceutical supply chain’s fragility Read More 

Target announces massive supply chain investment Read More 

Bangladesh Shipping Corporation to Get $22.48 Million for Ship Hit by Missile in Ukraine Read More 

DMB Takes Over the Anschütz Group Read More 

Herman Senior Acquires ST Marine Support Read More 

Keppel and Sembcorp yard merger completed Read More 

Industrial improvement in China amid global recession Read More 

Thailand plans multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investment to boost economy Read More 

Asian liner SeaLead opens more India-centric connections amid growth expectations Read More 

CMA CGM announces updated rates from Indian Subcontinent, Middle East Gulf, Red Sea and Egypt to USEC and US Gulf Read More 

Yusen Logistics supports Baseball Equipment Donation Project Read More 

Saudia and WFS seal cargo handling deal Read More 

The market, yet again, is shifting on multiple levels Read More 

3PL News

TAPA EMEA achieves cargo security milestone Read More 

Dronamics raises $40 million in pre-Series A funding to launch Europe’s first middle-mile drone deliveries Read More 

FedEx invests €11.7m in new Cork facility Read More 

Maersk to promote logistics leg with expansion of inventory space Read More 

DHL announces Southern California expansion into new Redondo Beach facility Read More 

Locus Launches ‘Last-Mile Maturity Assessment’ For Enterprises to Level-Up Their Strategies Read More 

Why Enterprises Must Prioritize an End-to-End View of Last-Mile Operations to Remain Competitive Read More 

Walmart’s store-fulfilled delivery sales nearly triple in two years Read More 

Wayfair cancels plans for Houston fulfillment center Read More 

Target plans $100M investment to expand next-day delivery Read More 

DACHSER strengthens its logistics centre in Bremen Read More 

Companies Are Slow to Adopt Robot-Operated ‘Dark’ Warehouses Read More 

Aramex takes next mile in drone, bot deliveries Read More 

Why we continue to expand our Warehouse network Read More 

Kuwait government orders Agility to vacate logistics parks Read More 

Small Press Distribution Launches GoFundMe to Support New Operating Model Read More 

Order Picking Accuracy Speeds Up Distribution Read More 

Sainsbury’s to shut two Argos warehouses as it ‘modernises’ logistics, 1,400 roles impacted Read More 

Target and Solo Cup are opening huge warehouses in the southwest suburbs Read More 

Ocado pauses building new warehouses as annual losses balloon to £500m Read More 

Maersk advances warehouse fulfillment speed with new software and scanning technology Read More 

Public invited to have a say on plans for ‘huge’ warehouse and logistics development outside Spalding Read More 

Rooker sells Williams-Sonoma warehouse for $20.7 million to investor Read More 

Family-run haulage and warehousing specialist joins major distribution network Read More 

DAS Companies, Inc. continues to grow with official opening of new warehouse Read More 

Battery Energy Storage Systems Market Size Will Attain USD 52.9 Billion by 2033 Owing to the Ongoing Grid Modernisation | Future Market Insights. Inc. Read More 

Audi Volkswagen Middle East Announces Collaboration With DHL In The Middle East Read More  

Trade and Customs News  

Cyprus axes ships as EU targets Dubai Sovcomflot operations Read More 

First Russian clean cargoes to Brazil signal shift in global diesel trades Read More 

Sanctioned Russian ship departs Indian waters after failing to unload cargo Read More 

Australia Bans MSC Containership Over Safety Deficiencies Read More 

Spain Detains Oil Tanker Over Mediterranean Fuel Spill Read More 

Danish-operated Tanker Seeking New Port After Spanish Entry Ban Read More 

ATA and U.S. Chamber of Commerce commend FHWA on revised infrastructure funding memo Read More 

US hits Russia with 200% aluminum tariff Read More 

Legal reforms key to achieve global trade digitalization – Chris Southworth, ICC UK Read More 

CargoX and CEBS launch partnership to help customers migrate from TradeLens Read More 

Bills of lading will be 100% electronic by 2030 – DCSA member lines commitment Read More 

Argentinean taxation on waterways increases demand by port of Paranaguá Read More 

Relief Efforts in Turkey, Syria Face Logistical Hurdles Read More 

Teleport sets eyes on Australian exports with Wexco Read More 

China-EU rail freight: a highly sensitive market Read More 

QBE says US$9mn insurance row based on fake commodity trades Read More 

Sanction risks fail to stop carriers’ gold rush in Russian trade Read More 

E-commerce Logistics News

Returns a costly and speeding juggernaut for Amazon and parcel carriers Read More 

Amazon contractor ATSG expects cargo jet usage to dip 5% in 20233 Read More 

Amazon closes, cancels more warehouses as cost-cutting persists Read More 

Amazon expanding same-day delivery service Read More 

FedEx Express to lean on third-party carriers for less urgent shipments Read More 

Target And Amazon Sharpen Their Delivery Weapons Read More 

Sam’s Club Adding Distribution Centers to Speed Up Online Fulfillment Read More 

Shopify Bulks Up Online Fulfillment Logistics Services Read More 

DHL and Cainiao join forces in Poland Read More 

Lödige Industries to deliver smart material handling system for Cainiao Smart Gateway Read More 

FedEx delivers critical aid to Turkiye/ Syria Read More 

NimbusPost Collaborates with ClickPost to Streamline eCommerce Logistics Experiences Read More 

A.P. Moller – Maersk and Mawani break ground for Saudi Arabia’s largest Integrated Logistics Park at Jeddah Islamic Port Read More 

SMEs to benefit from fuller e-com solution Read More 

China’s to shut e-commerce sites in Indonesia, Thailand Read More  

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