The India Trade Lane has been hit with a series of unfortunate events starting with the COVID-19 lockdown, congestions, the Suez Canal incident, and a second wave of COVID-19. These events have led to a space crisis never seen in global shipping. In response, carriers continue to levy Peak Season Surcharges (PSS) and General Rate Increases (GRIs) on cargo moving to the United States. Furthermore, carriers such as Hapag and MSC have levied an “emergency intermodal surcharge” for IPI/RIPI shipments.

Shipments to the U.S. West Coast

Blank sailings, congestion, and delayed berthing are worsening. Carriers have curtailed their India allocation significantly, as they are getting far more profitable freight in the Far East to USA trade. Vessel allocations have been reduced drastically, making shipping to the U.S. West Coast (USWC) extremely costly with unpredictable service.  

As an example, until May Wan Hai had an allocation of 120 TEU’s per vessel moving to the USWC from India. In June, this allocation was cut to 60 TEUs, and in July it was cut down further to 10 TEUs. Equipment types are limited and service will continue to deteriorate to the USWC.

Shipments to the U.S. East Coast

In comparison to the West Coast crisis described above, we are seeing better space availability for shipments to the U.S. East Coast (USEC). The Lines do not compete with their Asia to U.S. lanes of the India to USEC services and are therefore able to offer a steady service. However, this steady service does come with a healthy price tag. Most carriers operating on the India to USEC trade lane are steadily increasing rates to levels rivaling some of the China to USA pricing seen during this freight crisis. The demand for steady service to the USEC is sufficient enough to sustain these large rate increases. Lastly, please note that East Coast shipments originating in Southwest India continue to be delayed due to slow transshipments in Colombo.


While not possible for every location and every commodity, the best way to find space in these difficult times is to have flexibility. We continue to encourage our clients to get their cargo to the USA on any service with space. With Mohawks strong domestic footprint, we can transload and truck to your inland locations so that you may service your clients timely.

Peak Season Surcharge

Effective DateCarrierRate
August 1MSC$1500 per container
July 15MSC$1200 per container
July 1MSC$750 per container
July 1CMA CGM$500/20′
June 1MSC$350 per container
June 1CMA CGM$200/20′

General Rate Increase

Effective DateCarrierRate
July 1MSC$500/20′
July 1Hapag$480/20′

Rate Restoration Initiative by CMA

Effective DateRate
August 1$800/20′

Emergency Intermodal Surcharge & Congestion Surcharge

Effective DateCarrierRate
August 1Hapag$350 per container
August 1MSC$350 per container
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