Aiming to provide relevant and up-to-date information to help you navigate your supply chain.

Ocean and Key Ports Update

Situation in the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden

Our teams continue to closely monitor the situation around the Red Sea / Gulf of Aden. In the interest of safety for our vessels, crew, and customers' cargo, all vessels previously due to transit the area have been diverted south around the Cape of Good Hope for the foreseeable future.

While we hope for a sustainable resolution in the near future and do all we can to contribute towards it, we encourage customers to prepare for disruptions to persist in the global network. Our teams in North America and around the world are ready to support your planning should you need any assistance.

We are working to maintain capacity and support our customers to manage their supply chains effectively and efficiently. This includes through making changes to our services, adding feeders and securing global connections for your shipments. Visit to access the temporary changes to our network.

This change in flow patterns has also created a shortage of equipment across the industry, particularly within the reefer market. To ensure the circumstances cause as minimal delays as possible, Maersk is increasing its focus on empty container repositioning and adding more equipment to the current pool.

Stay up to date with the latest contingency measures and schedules on our dedicated tracker page, as well as surcharge information for Far East Asia exports, and for exports from all other locations.

Europe & the Mediterranean

In the wake of the Red Sea situation impacting MECL's Algeciras coverage, backlogs have accumulated at the port for our TA5 and TA6 services which connects Europe to the U.S. East coast. To address this, in Week 8, the Maersk Karachi 408W will serve as a gap loader for M1W cargo, offering 3,000 FFE to clear standing cargo and accommodate additional volume for our customers.

The onset of the reefer season in Turkey has led to volume limitations on the MCX service for the upcoming weeks. Our North Europe services are operating without restrictions, except for TA2, where capacity is limited due to downsized vessels. To mitigate this, we are blending loads across TA1 and TA3 to prevent any cargo rollings.

Asia Pacific

During the traditional Chinese New Year (CNY) period, the majority of factories close and workforces are limited throughout the country – having a significant impact on production and China’s overall logistics landscape. As a result, Maersk made schedule adjustments for CNY 2024, but full network operations will be re-instated by this week.

On the US West Coast, heavy congestion in Oakland has resulted in vessel delays and subsequent delays on returns back to Asia. On East Coast bound routes, we are also facing delays for the TP17 and TP88 services. For the latter, given the upcoming gaps, we are working to deploy a gap loader to ensure a reliable service for our customers.

We are making changes to preserve weekly departures for our services with the goal of offering more predictability, reliability and consistency, despite the associated delays that come with the current Red Sea reroutings.

Lastly, we are pleased to inform you about improvements to our Pacific Northwest service. TPX will move to Husky terminal in Tacoma. Husky offers modern infrastructure with state of the art on dock rail capabilities, up to 22,800 ft of on dock rail track and access to wide network of US Inland destinations. This will allow us to offer stable weekly departures from Asia and competitive transit time to US inland destinations.

India, Middle East & Africa

On January 26th, we announced the latest changes to our MECL service, which will start going around the Cape of Good Hope as a result of the Red Sea situation. Transit times between the US East Coast and India & the Middle East, and vice versa, will be extended by 1 or 2 weeks by this change. Our teams are on hand to support with your planning, should you need any assistance.

On our East Africa trade, we also announced the temporary suspension of all bookings from Djibouti. We expect this to have an impact on key garment sectors shipping from that area. On our South Africa trade, we are seeing some terminal productivity issues due to crane breakdowns and winds. We have now entered in our citrus peak season which is causing some tightening in space capacity on select sailings of our AMEX service. In our West Africa market, unexpected rains are affecting cocoa exports, causing delays in shipments.

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal Authority started implementing adjustments in 2023 to accommodate the low water levels at the Canal. We have been closely monitoring the draft adjustments and following the guidance from the Panama Canal to adapt intake on relevant services in advance of the departure at origin. In addition, at Maersk we have adapted our internal processes to match the updated booking requirements of the Canal, securing access to the needed transit slots to ensure minimum impact on customers.

In January, to accommodate the additional changes to the booking system announced by the Canal, we made the decision to utilize the existing Panama Canal Railway for our service from Oceania – North America, which is an existing solution that has been in use for other cargo transiting through Panama. At this time this is the only service that usually transited the waterway that we have shifted to the railway.

For the most up-to-date information as the news in the Panama Canal develops, please visit our advisory page on this subject.

Air Freight Update

The global air freight market has begun the year strong, showcasing a notable 5% demand surge in January compared to 2023, with a corresponding 12% increase in capacity as per WorldACD reports. This growth can be attributed to various factors, such as the delayed onset of Chinese New Year in 2024 and the ongoing disruptions in the Red Sea, underscoring the need for air freight solutions to address logistical challenges efficiently.

To mitigate longer transit times resulting from cargo redirection around the Cape of Good Hope, Maersk is providing Sea-Air coverage from Asia via Los Angeles to Europe via air, offering a solution to minimize supply chain delays for our customers. Our 'in-transit' mode of transportation change enables customers with cargo on vessels to transfer to a Sea-Air shipment, facilitating efficient air freight transportation to reach their final destinations in the US or Europe.

The facility in Los Angeles serves as a U.S. Customs bonded Container Freight Station (CFS) and a U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF), allowing containers to be destuffed and re-bonded. This Sea-Air option offers a transit time at least 10 days shorter than diverted vessels. For more information on our air freight network and services to and from North America, please contact our team and get additional information on our air freight solutions.

Mexico Market Update

Mexico's Economic Growth Spurs Opportunities

Mexico's economic growth is on the rise, fueled by the nearshoring trend and an influx of foreign investment. With this growth, however, come both opportunities and challenges. For this update, we talked with Jorge Davila, Maersk's Head of Sales in Mexico; we explored the positive developments and our solutions to overcome the challenges in the Mexican market.

Economic Growth and Imports from Asia: Mexico has experienced a noteworthy surge in economic growth, with foreign investment increasing by 47% in the first nine months of the year, according to IMCO. Imports from Asia have mainly seen significant growth, and our AC service achieved an outstanding 100% reliability rate in December 2023, surpassing the global average of 56.8% according to SeaIntelligence.

Growth Potential and Trade Opportunities: Nearshoring has clearly impacted Mexico's economic performance, with GDP growing by 3.1% in 2023. Industrial activities expanded by 3.6%, showcasing strong growth potential. Earlier this month, the U.S. Commerce Department showed that in 2023, Mexico was the leading source of goods imported to the US – ahead of China for the first time in over 20 years. We closely monitor how this growth will translate into increased trade, especially with the USA and Canada.

Addressing Port Congestion and Streamlining Operations: The surge in cargo traffic has put Mexican Pacific ports to the test, highlighting the need to streamline operations and alleviate congestion. Our innovative solutions, including the strategically located Cuautitlán depot, are ready to untangle bottlenecks and ensure smooth goods flow by truck or rail.

Expanding Operations in Tijuana and Bonded Cargo Handling: We are expanding our Tijuana operation to prepare for future growth. Our new facility, equipped with an IMMEX permit, allows us to handle bonded cargo. This presents opportunities not only for businesses in Mexico but also in Southern California, including San Diego. As Mexico's economy continues flourishing, we are excited about the possibilities and remain dedicated to maximizing them.

Topics, Trends, and Insights

What to prepare for in 2024

Hear it from Maersk’s New Regional President for North America, Charles van der Steene.

Editor’s Note: on Jan 29th, Maersk announced the appointment of CVS as President. You review full announcement. Van der Steene is a logistics industry veteran, with deep global experience in commercial leadership, operations, and general management.

I don’t have to tell you we’re operating in a world peppered with supply chain disruptions. Red Sea, Panama Canal, East Coast ILA labor negotiations. I’ve heard these concerns from many of our customers.

So, what should you be thinking about right now?

  • The Red Sea crisis has caused capacity constraints and a hike in rates; no one knows for how long the situation will last.
  • Know your best alternative to entering the North American market and be ready to have mitigations in place.
    • Ports in Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, Los Angeles, and Long Beach are possible alternatives for East Coast bound freight.
    • Mexico could be a particularly attractive opportunity given the rise of nearshoring activity there. It’s a strategically central location with the right labor force, a relatively stable geopolitical environment, good infrastructure, and proximity to markets.
  • Start quantifying and preparing to mitigate shifts in your supply chain costs.
    • Many customers factor a cost per unit into their budgeting, and if that fundamentally changes due to all of this volatility, it could have a big impact on overall costs.

In the meantime, we’re taking action to be flexible and safeguard our reliability on the carrier side.

  • In the shorter term, as it pertains to the Red Sea, we’re working to maintain capacity and supporting our customers to manage their supply chains effectively and efficiently. This includes making changes to our services, adding feeders and securing global connections for your shipments.
  • Looking at the longer term, we’ve announced an innovative ocean network cooperation with Hapag-Lloyd beginning in 2025. That new network will offer:
    • Improved schedule reliability and service stability
    • Easier access to our wider range of transportation products and logistical services
    • Competitive transit times
    • Same geographic coverage and capacity as we offer today
    • Continued commitment to decarbonization
    • A greater ability to grow with the market in the coming years

And of course, we’re actively redefining the value we can bring to your supply chain end-to-end. We believe integrated logistics holds the most untapped potential for customers. The volatility in the supply chain truly underscores the need for flexibility.

It’s why we’ve been working to build a fellowship of trucks, planes, ships, trains, warehouses, and logistics strategists to connect our customers’ worlds. If a canal is blocked, a new route opens in the sky.

I hope to see many of you at TPM24 next week!

Upcoming events: TPM24

If you are heading to TPM24 this March, be sure to check our executive presenters.

More News from Maersk from around the world

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