Newsletter 22/2024: Actual situation in international transport

Newsletter 22/2024: Actual situation in international transport

In today's edition we look not only at what's happening in the skies, rails and seas, but also at the new phase of the ICS 2 rollout.


While Lufthansa is counting losses for the first quarter of 2024, which was marked by weaker volumes supported by staff strikes, the airline is generally expecting an end to the Labour Day holiday in China, which lasted from May 1 to 5. It was preceded, as every holiday is, by a price increase supported by the supply of goods. Customers, on the other hand, expect prices to start falling after the holiday. And we confirm that they are getting their wish. And they are also coming true for airlines, which are feeling the increase in global demand and increasing capacity.
The US tradelane is stable, with prices here half of those in the Far East on the import route.


Key routes from Asia to Europe are busy again. After a few months of some service stabilisation, albeit with extended transit times and longer route surcharges, there is again a scramble for space on ships and prices, including surcharges such as the Peak Season Surcharge, are rising steeply. There are several reasons for this, just to name the most important ones:

As a result, ships are being unloaded from some Chinese ports until the end of May and the predictability (regularity) of schedules has been significantly reduced.
The classic market condition: lack of capacity = rising prices has been activated very quickly. Already on the last Friday in April, the Shanghai index of Far East spot rates rose more sharply than at any time since the outbreak of the Red Sea security crisis. The index jumped nearly 10 percent from the previous week. This was before the general increase in tariffs for traffic from the Far East to Europe came into effect on May 1. The next general increase (whether called PSS/Peak Season Surcharge or otherwise) is already announced for May 15.

It is expected that the situation with the place will be difficult until the start of Golden Week (1.10.24), i.e. over the whole summer/holiday season.
We highly recommend early planning ahead of the upcoming season, we will be happy to consult with you on the best dates and shipping method to ensure you have your goods stocked in time.

There is always room, but there is and will be a price...

On the positive side, even in these difficult times, there is some pleasant news: the French shipbuilder CMA-CGM is opening a new service between Asia and Europe from June, with significantly shorter transit times than the general standard. For example, the transit time from Ningbo to Europe (Koper) should take "only" 38 days (the usual t/t to Hamburg is currently around 48 days or more), from Busan to Koper 36 days, and from Shekou (Shenzen/Yantian area) to Europe (Koper) will take only 31 days, which is also 10 days faster than the classic service to Hamburg. It is also faster to reach selected ports in Asia for export. The short transit time is due to routing through the Suez Canal.

In addition to imports from Asia, the situation is also difficult in the case of exports and imports to the Middle East (Arabian Gulf) and the Indian subcontinent, where it is necessary to book 2-3 weeks in advance. There is relative calm on transatlantic routes despite the Baltimore accident.


The volume of rail shipments from China continues to increase, mainly due to extended transit times at sea. This leads to more frequent departures from terminals and increased capacity, which applies not only to FCL shipments but also to LCL collection containers, which offer ample space and allow departures up to twice a week.

The increase in volume unfortunately has a negative impact on transit times, which are extended by delays at the Malaszewicze terminal, through which most rail trains from Europe to China pass. Here, containers often wait 7 to 10 days for trains bound for the Czech Republic, which means that transit times are currently 37 to 42 days door-to-door. For urgent containers, we can shorten the transit time by delivering containers on direct tractors straight from Malaszewice.

Import Control System 2 (ICS2)

In last year's newsletter 04/2023 we informed you about the convergence of European customs systems, digitalization and the shift of reporting of shipment parameters closer in time to loading. The message was as follows:

ICS-2 is in its 2nd phase as of 1 March 2023, where instead of previously declaring mail and some urgent air shipments, all air cargo is now required to be declared. Other modes of transport will be added from 1.3.2024, as this should also be the date when the ICS-2 system will be linked to the NCTS. Obviously, the dates may shift by a few months during the implementation, but the trend and the target state is set.

So now, on the basis of the latest information, we clarify and point out that from 3 June this year, the obligation of import customs pre-declaration for shipments going to the EU by sea applies for shipper-secured (Master B/L) and from 4 December for shipper-secured (House or FIATA B/L).
Thus, only sea shipments are added to air shipments for the time being. Rail and land will be postponed to 1.4. 2025

What does this mean for you, what is changing?
Any shipper sending a shipment from a non-EU country (including, for example, the UK) by sea to the EU will be required to send details of the shipment to the European customs system via an intermediary from the above date. The key data will be the harmonised tariff code, i.e. the HS code.

At first glance, it may seem that there is no major involvement for importers, however HS codes may differ in the world from those in the EU, especially in the latest figures. If an invalid, incorrect code is entered overseas, the shipment will depart but will be held at the EU border (i.e. port) until the correction is made, again by the overseas shipper. In the meantime, however, the shipment will not be allowed to be handled, it will remain at the port of arrival and this time delay will become even more expensive due to the warehouse and the delay.
As an importer, the first date, 3 June, is already important for you. These dates only determine who will be responsible for filling in the electronic data in the ENS at which stage. And even if it is the shipper from 3 June and the freight forwarder or operator from 4 December, the data they will be filling in will be required by the end customers. And the instructions from the European Commission in case they do not have the required data are clear - the shipper or forwarder or operator will enter the consignee's EORI in the system, thus transferring the obligation and responsibility to them, i.e. to you.

We therefore recommend that you request the HS code that will be used to declare your overseas shipment early and in advance, ideally when ordering your shipment. If you have any doubts about the correctness of the HS code or the correct classification, or are unable to find the HS code at all, please contact us and we will be happy to help. The exact identity of the consignor and consignee, including the EORI, will also be provided. Your EORI will need to be part of the commercial invoice.

The statistics from air travel, which jumped a year earlier, are horrifying. In the first quarter of the year, over 60% of shipments were incorrectly or inadequately declared. The thought of a similar number of shipments being held up at ports is indeed frightening, but we trust that at least the readers of our newsletter will be prepared and together we can avoid a similar scenario.

Need help with communication about ICS 2?

You will find support documents in EN and CN on our website.

Other articles

Newsletter 21/2024: Actual situation in international transport

From 1 April, air services entered the summer schedule period, which in practice means an increase in flight frequencies or the reopening of routes to destinations not flown over the winter.

Electronic T2L: Simplifying customs processes in the EU

What is electronic T2L and how does it work? What are its main advantages? How to use the PoUS to submit and manage T2L applications? And how can our Customs Services Department help you?

Newsletter 20/2024: Container ship crash in Baltimore port

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, tragedy struck the Port of Baltimore when the container ship Dali struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The bridge's subsequent collapse into the shipping channel blocked marine vessel access to the port and caused widespread impacts to shipping and commerce.

Write to us

By submitting the form you agree to the protection of your personal data.

Call me back

Leave us your phone number and we will get back to you.

By submitting the form you agree to the protection of your personal data.

NastavenĂ­ soukromĂ­ a cookies

Souhlasem se sdílením dat nám poskytnete informace, které potřebujeme pro zlepšování, analýzu a marketing napříč těmito webovými stránkami. Dále souhlasíte s předáním údajů třetím stranám a mimo EU. Prohlašujeme, že Vámi poskytnuté informace jsou zabezpečeny proti zneužití.

NastavenĂ­ soukromĂ­ a cookies

Souhlasem se sdílením dat nám poskytnete informace, které potřebujeme pro zlepšování, analýzu a marketing napříč těmito webovými stránkami. Dále souhlasíte s předáním údajů třetím stranám a mimo EU. Prohlašujeme, že Vámi poskytnuté informace jsou zabezpečeny proti zneužití.

Dejte nám prosím vědět, která data nám a našim partnerům dovolíte zpracovat.

Technická data

Trvale zapnuto

Webové stránky potřebují technická data pro správné fungování. Bez těchto dat by nebylo možné například vyhledávat, přehrát video nebo dokončit objednávku v e-shopu.

Analytické a statistické údaje

Analytické a statistické údaje nám pomáhají pochopit, jaké funkce jsou vaše oblíbené, co nám na webu nefunguje, jaké zařízení pro prohlížení stránek používáte a mnoho dalších.