Freight Market Update: September 2023

logistics market update september 2023

Monthly Highlights

Logistics Companies Grow Cautious on Holiday Hiring

Logistics businesses are approaching holiday employment with caution. Because of worries regarding labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, many organizations have taken a more cautious approach to seasonal employment. This cautious posture reflects the logistics industry’s present issues and emphasizes the importance of flexibility and agility in satisfying Christmas expectations while navigating ongoing interruptions.

Shipping Giant Maersk Unveils World’s First Vessel Using Green Methanol

The brand-new ship possesses two motors: one that runs on regular marine fuels and the other that runs on green methanol. This is the first of 25 similar ships that Maersk has bought and will get by 2024. This is part of the company’s plan to update its existing fleet of 700 ships and become carbon-neutral by the year 2040.

FedEx Testing AI-powered, Trailer-Loading Robots

FedEx is testing AI-powered trailer-loading robots made by Dexterity AI. These cutting-edge robots are intended to improve efficiency and accuracy in putting products onto trailers, thereby alleviating manpower shortages and improving the logistics process. This move highlights the logistics industry’s continued efforts to use automation and artificial intelligence to enhance operations and satisfy changing supply chain demands.

Key Takeaways

  • After being reduced in 2021, Mexico now has FAA category one classification. The reform will allow Mexican carriers, including as Aeromexico, to operate 101 weekly US flights as a result of the shift.
  • Asian airlines, such as Korean Air and All Nippon Airways, are extending sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programs to give shippers the option of using sustainable aviation fuel in their cargoes.
  • New trade agreements between the United States and Vietnam continue to establish ties with prospective manufacturing and supply hubs outside of China, reducing the United States’ reliance on China as a single source supplier.
  • The Panama Canal remains restricted, with no end in sight as the drought continues to damage water supplies supplying the canal.

Ocean Freight Market Update

Annual growth in the United States has been revised upward, although a significant slowdown is still projected. Forecasts for US real GDP growth in 2023 and 2024 in September are slightly higher than in August, at 2.3% and 1.5%, respectively. This is partly due to surprisingly high consumer spending through July, which raises the annual growth rate for next year due to “carry over” effects. Nonetheless, growth in the United States is predicted to remain significantly below trend in the fourth quarter of 2024. The Federal Reserve (Fed) is projected to keep interest rates unchanged later this month, but S&P Global Market Intelligence predicts another hike in November and no rate cuts until spring 2024.

Global Schedule Reliability

logistics market update september 2023

Schedule reliability continues its upward trend.


  • During the Chinese Golden Week holiday, blank sailing rates from Asia to North Europe, particularly the Mediterranean, are predicted to reach 16%. Earlier this year, during June and July, blank sailings rates were approximately 4%.
  • Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has announced that its Intra-Asia Cross Network (ICN) service will be expanded to include a faster route from Busan, South Korea to Surabaya and Jakarta, Indonesia. The enhanced service will begin on October 9.

North America

  • The Port of Oakland handled roughly 135K TEUs in August, representing a 13.1% year-over-year drop compared to August 2022. However, port officials believe that comparing this year’s results to previous year’s would be impractical.
  • The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have proposed a green shipping corridor. The transpacific green corridor concept intends to considerably reduce or even eliminate carbon emissions and pollution by 2030, with carrier partners deploying “green” boats along the corridor beginning in 2025.

Air Freight Updates

Global capacity in air freight is continuing to recover and proceed in the right direction. Capacity grew by 4.7% between January and July 2023, compared to the same time before the epidemic in 2019. Capacity on direct routes between Europe and Asia, in addition to the Transatlantic and Europe-Middle East lines, has virtually reached pre-pandemic levels in Europe, owing largely to an increase in belly capacity (freight delivered in the cargo holds of passenger airplanes).


  • Korean Air is expanding its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) initiative to include cargo flights. Forwarders and shippers will be able to contribute to the purchase of additional SAF to reduce carbon emissions on their routes. Furthermore, All Nippon Airways (ANA) is expanding their SAF program to include shippers in the future. Shippers will be able to get emission reduction certifications through their present SAF service with the new offering.
  • Etihad Cargo is growing its operations in China. With two new direct routes from the UAE to Guangzhou, the carrier will add 30 tons of belly capacity. This follows the addition of a direct trip to Beijing in July, bringing Etihad’s total number of weekly flights between the two countries to fifteen.

North America

  • After downgrading Mexico in 2021, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has restored the country’s aviation safety status to category one. The modification now allows Mexican carriers to offer additional services and routes into the United States, resulting in a considerable boost in air connectivity between the two countries.
  • WestJet, a Canadian airline, has inaugurated a new cargo service to Havana, Cuba. One of the carrier’s Boeing 737-800 freighters will fly from Toronto to Cuba’s capital once a week. This move demonstrates WestJet’s continuous expansion in North and Latin America.
  • IAG Cargo has announced that their new constant climate station at Cincinnati International Airport has been approved. This takes the total number of permitted stations in the United States to 21, demonstrating the carriers’ preference for temperature-controlled vital cargo and pharmaceuticals. The new service will focus on the transportation of drugs from Ireland and India to US locations via London.

logistics market update september 2023

Freight Market and Amazon News

Amazon to Invest Up to $4 Billion in Anthropic as AI Arms Race Escalates

Amazon is planning to invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic, a premier AI research startup, in response to the rising AI arms race. This strategic move highlights the increasing rivalry in the artificial intelligence field as well as Amazon’s dedication to staying at the forefront of AI technology. The investment in Anthropic is anticipated to strengthen Amazon’s capabilities and accelerate innovation in AI-related disciplines, establishing the business as a vital player in the ongoing AI race.


AWS Announces Amazon Bedrock and Powerful New Offerings Accelerating Generative AI Innovation

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced the general release of “Amazon Bedrock,” a set of generative AI advancements. Bedrock provides a variety of AI tools and capabilities, including text generation, picture synthesis, and data modeling, to assist enterprises in harnessing the power of AI for a variety of applications. This achievement demonstrates AWS’s dedication to expanding AI and making cutting-edge AI technology more accessible to enterprises, with the potential to disrupt industries by enabling them to efficiently construct AI-driven solutions.

Generative AI Helps Amazon Eliminate Checkout Lines and Enhance Shopping Experience

Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology offers a cashier-less shopping experience, enabling customers to enter, shop, and exit without conventional checkout processes. Utilizing sensors and cameras, it monitors customers and their selected items. Shoppers initiate the process by scanning their Amazon app or palm print upon entry. Throughout their shopping journey, the technology records items picked up and put back. Upon departure, customers’ Amazon accounts are automatically charged for the items they’ve acquired, streamlining the shopping process.


Forceget Digital Freight Forwarder is a leading NVOCC licensed global logistics company that specializes in parcel, air and ocean shipping. With offices in key locations such as the USA, China, Hong Kong, Turkey, Israel and Colombia, we are well-positioned to assist you with all your logistics and brokerage needs, no matter where you are located. We take care of all the complexities of international shipping, allowing you to focus on what you do best – competing in your local market. Additionally, we pride ourselves on being the number one Amazon FBA focused freight forwarder, ensuring that your products are delivered to Amazon warehouses in a timely and cost-effective manner. With Forceget, you can have peace of mind knowing that your global logistics needs are in expert hands.