December 2022

Röhlig Asia Logistics Newsletter

No pre-Christmas peak for Air Freight, but change in China for Covid restrictions.

December 2022 - Peak season has failed to materialise for the Air Freight as many customers return to a recovering Sea Freight market. In South Korea, trukcing strikes continue to impact export Sea Freight. Meanwhile, China recently announced major changes to its strict Zero-Covid policy, phasing out mass testing and health codes. Customers preparing for Lunar New Year 2023 can check our guide for the latest advice.

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Greater China

  • Strict pandemic prevention measures lifted across China from early December including testing and showing health codes. Health codes may still be required for personnel in high-risk areas such as transport hubs and warehouses. Mild cases of Covid no longer require hospitalization.

  • Many ‘control areas’ that previously restricted traffic flow have been lifted. Restrictions can still be implemented at short notice.


  • After a dramatic slump over the past few months, rates have somewhat stabilized and are expected to hold until the end of the year.

  • Smooth transportation may still be affected by lockdowns or other restrictive measures.

  • Customers can maintain usual booking schedules as space and equipment remain available.



  • With the peak season a no-show for 2022, the market-level is likely to remain low even throughout Christmas and New Year.

  • Capacity still low as passenger flights in China are still at a trickle. Beware of potential freighter cancellations due to low loads.

  • Despite the recent changes in restrictions in China, customers should still anticipate sudden changes in the market, delays or temporary cancellations due to pandemic prevention measures.



  • Rates declining due to the low number of shipments. In turn, this has led to reduced departures and some space shortages.

  • Scattered departure delays due to merge of dispatch. We advise customers to book at least 2 weeks in advance.

  • Contact our Rail Team at

South Korea


  • Export rates continue to decrease following the Chinese market due to shared vessel routes.

  • Trucking strikes continue to impact export cargo movement. Carriers have begun to reroute their vessels in order to offset disruption.

  • Space and equipment are available but difficult to utilize during strike action.


  • Air remains unaffected by trucking strikes. Low rates mean that it could be a viable alternative for urgent cargo.



  • Rates continue to drop across most trades.

  • Space and equipment available due to ongoing low demand. As a result, some carriers have started to roll out blank sailings to balance supply and demand.

  • Indonesia DRY/GP and reefer rates expected to remain level through to mid-December.

  • Limited stock for Semarang Port for both 20/40GP. Shortage of 20RF for Jakarta and Surabaya, with a surplus for 40RF. No stock for 20RF/ limited 40RF for Semarang.

  • Blank sailings and omissions expected around the Christmas period, early booking is advised.

  • Thailand reports that fluctuating rates may need to be checked on a case-by-case basis.

  • For FCL to North Europe by direct service from Thailand, schedule available twice weekly in December 2022.



  • Peak-season has failed to emerge this year, and so rates remain on a downward trend.

  • Capacity available following further increase in passenger flights.

  • Previous delays from China lockdowns, however these are expected to ease off soon.



  • All ports and terminals running smoothly with no major disruption.

  • Rates continue to fluctuate.

  • Forecast required to ensure sufficient equipment for hinterland, please maintain close communication with your representative.

  • Slow response expected from shipping lines during the last 2 weeks of December due to the Christmas holidays.


  • Air export rates continue to decline due to low demand. Import rates remain stable.

  • Plenty of space for export shipment while import faces challenges.

  • In preparation for the Christmas season, customers are advised to avoid shipments in the last week of December as a huge demand for space is expected. Usually, this space is utilized by passenger baggage during this busy commuter period, particularly now that most Covid-related restrictions have been lifted.


DISCLAIMER - All information is provided in good faith for guidance and reference purposes only. It is of a general informational nature, and Röhlig Logistics GmbH & Co. KG takes no legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided via this document. Röhlig Logistics GmbH & Co. KG makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information contained herein and accepts no liability for any loss arising from the use of the information provided.

Röhlig Asia Logistics Newsletter