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Capacity on Asia-US services has tightened in recent weeks due to aggressive blank sailing efforts by ocean carriers. Over 20% of Trans-Pacific capacity was removed in October, with more reductions planned for November. Carriers are announcing blank sailings with less notice, often only two weeks in advance of sailing. On some services, multiple cargo rollovers are common. Capacity reduction efforts have been successful enough for carriers to implement a November 1 rate increase (GRI), an unusual development for a month that is typically characterized by slack market conditions between the traditional peak season and the Lunar New Year rush.

The air freight market from Asia to the US, from China in particular, is also tight. Rates have increased due to increased demand for space ahead of the holidays.

Persistent low water levels at the Panama Canal have resulted in additional restrictions on the number of daily transits. Slots will be cut to less than half the usual level by February. This may result in containership transit delays in the coming months. So far, most container vessels are transiting without significant delay. Demand for services to US West Coast and via the Suez Canal will increase, putting pressure on those services.

Forecasting and early booking are always recommended.



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Rachel Shames

VP, Pricing & Procurement

CV International, Inc.


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Rachel serves as Vice President, Pricing and Procurement for CVI. Her responsibilities include vendor selection, contract management and negotiation, transportation pricing, FMC compliance, and international agent network management.

Rachel began her career in international shipping with CMA-CGM America. She joined CVI in 2011, gaining experience in various departments with a focus on inside sales and marketing for the company. In 2014, Rachel assumed the role of Manager, Transportation, working on service procurement and development of client proposals. She has served in her current position since 2018.

A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 2005. She holds a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Maritime and Supply Chain Management from Old Dominion University.

– Rachel Shames, VP, Pricing & Procurement, CVI
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