Update on Trade Lane – Europe to North America

Significant influences have caused delays and ocean freight increases which have impacted the transatlantic trade lane between Europe and North America. Jan Hansen, North American Trade Lane Manager of Alfons Koester, Scarbrough’s exclusive German partner, was happy to give us an update from a German perspective last month with a special update below.

European Freight Destined to United States

  • Carriers are still overbooked but the forecast went down from average 6 weeks overbooked to approximately 4 weeks overbooked depending on the lane.
    • If this direction will go further nobody can indicate at this moment.
  • Due to this situation, the carriers are still pushing for higher rates and we already heard that there will be GRI Announcements for the U.S. Trade effective June 1, 2019
    • If this GRI actually goes through, nobody can indicate at this moment.
  • Beside that we are facing some equipment issues especially in Germany. Based on high export volume over the last months, the equipment availability is really bad at the moment.
    • The carriers are working to get more equipment back to Germany but this process is slow and takes time.


german rates


Jan continues, “I personally assume that we will see a slight decrease of the above named issues during the summer time, but you never know how the market will react.”

Another interesting point Jan mentions, “Based on the IMO 2020 which will take place January 1, 2020, the carriers have already indicated that we will face blank sailings in the second half of 2019 due to the fact that each vessel will require maintenance before they can bunker the new fuel.”

If you have questions about your European freight, we are happy to put you in touch with our European Trade Lane Manager.  Please email consulting@scarbrough-intl.com.