Cross-border e-commerce peak season transport capacity is tight freight prices rise

In the United States this year’s Black Friday and Net One events, Amazon, Walmart and Target, etc., once again demonstrated their strong market position.According to the latest figures, Amazon took the top spot with a record $106.18 billion in sales; Walmart came in second with $20.37 billion in sales. In third place was Apple, with $13.95 billion in sales. It was followed by Target($7.48 billion), eBay($7.36 billion) and Best Buy($6.29 billion).It is reported that a large number of discounts on Amazon’s platform attracted a large number of consumers to go on a shopping spree, during the event, global consumers bought more than 1 billion items on Amazon, of which consumers ordered more than 500 million items from third-party sellers.Cross-border e-commerceIt can be seen that cross-border e-commerce currently plays a large role in driving the import and export of global goods, but the increase in cross-border orders has also caused the shortage of logistics capacity and the increase in freight rates.Freight rates for air cargo from China to Europe and the United States are reported to be up 50 percent from recent lows, and there is strong demand for exports of goods such as low-priced clothing on e-commerce platforms. Flights to North America via Japan are also on the rise, with freight rates from Japan to North America already rising because of space constraints.According to the TAC index, a measure of international air freight prices, freight rates from Shanghai to North America stood at $5.94 per kilogram as of Nov. 20, up 50% from the first week of July. Freight from Shanghai to Europe is $4.64 per kilogram, up 53 percent. Freight prices from Hong Kong to North America and Europe increased by 32 per cent and 37 per cent respectively.Air cargo is transported through containers or special cargo planes under passenger aircraft. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a large number of passenger flights have been grounded, reducing cargo space, and maritime transportation including container ships has been disrupted, causing freight rates to skyrocket. With the resumption of passenger flights and the normalization of maritime transport, the supply and demand relationship between cargo space has eased, and freight rates have been on a downward trend since 2022.

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