Shippers are resigned to the chance that container spot freight charges from Asia will stay at their present excessive ranges for a while after Chinese language New Yr.
In the present day’s starting of the Chinese language lunar new yr would normally herald a number of weeks of downward strain on freight charges, however thus far there are not any indications of a slack season creating within the first half of the Yr of the Ox.
“After a yr of a lot uncertainty, there’s a bit bit extra certainty in 2021 – one factor we will say for positive is that there received’t be a slack season,” mentioned Seko Logistics chief progress officer Brian Bourke.
In reality, ocean carriers serving the Asia–Europe and Asia–US tradelanes are reporting enormous backlogs of cargo booked to maneuver put up–CNY.
“We’re full,” mentioned Maersk’s CEO Soren Skou this week.
“We’re flooded out with bookings,” mentioned Hapag Lloyd’s CEO Rolf Habben Jensen final week.
In the present day’s Asia–North Europe element of the FBX (Freightos Baltic Index) was up 1%, at $7,939 per 40ft, whereas for Mediterranean ports, it was down 4%, at $7,764 per 40ft.
It doesn’t appear doable that 12 months in the past, spot charges for North Europe stood at round $1,600 and for the Mediterranean at round $1,800, each in decline because of weak demand as the Yr of the Rat started on 25 January.
A UK-based NVOCC informed The Loadstar this week he had heard the “excellent news” that short-term charges from Asia had been “holding regular”
“It seems like we needs to be blissful that charges are secure at these ridiculously excessive ranges,” he mentioned.
“I’d solely remark that the carriers are capturing themselves within the foot if the charges are held this excessive for for much longer, as I already know of a number of purchasers which have cancelled orders for later within the yr as they simply can’t maintain the large will increase in freight costs,” he mentioned.
Furthermore, charges from China to the UK are in actuality a lot larger than indicated by the spot market indexes.
“Proper now, a 40ft container will value upwards of $12,000 in ocean freight solely,” UK-based Westbound Logistics suggested its purchasers this week.
In the meantime, on the transpacific, there is no such thing as a let-up within the rush of containerised volumes heading in the direction of the saturated ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seashore.
Certainly, the Los Angeles’ Sign import quantity forecaster experiences 173,622 teu anticipated to reach on the port subsequent week, 130% greater than the identical week of 2020, and at 139,400 teu, a staggering 224% greater than final yr, due the next week.
Nonetheless, the ships that arrive within the San Pedro Bay will be part of an extended queue of vessels attempting to safe a berth. In keeping with the Sign information, the typical time at anchor has prolonged to eight days.
“Our import provide chain is completely damaged and disconnected,” mentioned Jon Monroe, of Washington state-based Jon Monroe Consulting, whereas Freightos analysis lead Judah Levine added: “Sustained volumes and port congestion have manufacturing facility–to–door supply occasions reaching 9 weeks in comparison with a extra typical 4 to 5.”
The FBX Asia–USWC element edged up by 1%, to $4,334 per 40ft, whereas charges to the US east coast had been flat at $5,739 per 40ft. Transpacific charges for the US west coast are 210% larger than a yr in the past, with east coast charges up 113% on 12 months in the past.