Sea freight rates on rise as world’s largest container ship leaves the UK


Last week the world’s biggest container ship, the HMM Algeciras, docked at London Gateway, carrying nearly 20,000 containers of sea freight – itself a record number. But sea freight rates still remain high with overall reduced capacity.

At 400m long and 61m wide, the ship is the size of nearly four football pitches and has the capacity to carry 23,964 standard containers. This was its maiden voyage, travelling to the UK from China via South Korea, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. It is now on its way back to China via the Suez Canal and Singapore – with British exports on board – and is currently in the West Mediterranean.

Sea freight rates update

The more eco-friendly mega freighter is bringing some welcome capacity to the sea freight sector. It is the first of a fleet of 12 ultra large ships with 24,000 TEU capacity being built this year.

As with air cargo there are currently reduced shipping services worldwide at present. With the impacts of Covid-19 set to continue for some time, capacity is likely to remain an issue with rates affected accordingly. So far shipping lines have adjusted capacity relative to demand through blank sailings (cancelled voyages). The industry is trying hard to avoid triggering another price war, which happened after the 2008 financial crisis.

Due to the pressure on shipping capacity, we advise booking well ahead to increase your lead times and allow for the squeeze.

Please email in the first instance and our team will work to find the most cost-effective solution for you.

Sea cargo quotes

Whether you are looking for a detailed quotation regarding your sea freight requirements or just have a question to ask, please get in touch.

For the best quote, call us now on +44 (0)1675 434690 or alternatively drop us an email to

International Forwarding can ship goods worldwide to/from most of the major ports. With more than 30 years’ experience, our operators can deal with all aspects of customs and other documentation for sea freight, including: letters of credit, bills of lading, certificates of origin. For added reliability, IFL handles the entire process from collection to delivery, and offer both FCL and LCL options.

Having our own customs clearance office in Dover, we can also handle all your clearance requirements – something to remember with Brexit fast approaching.

Visit our sea freight services page for more information on our services.

Image (CC): Kees Torn / Flickr



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