The tremendous surge in imports from China and Southeast Asia ports is expected to continue well into the 4th quarter this year. This is being fueled not only by the usual peak season rush, but there also continues to be an effort to rebuild inventory stocks that were depleted during the economic slowdown.
We continue to see a problem with bookings from Asia being rolled due to space limitations and pricing that is much higher than normal peak season adjustments. Carriers are requiring extra premium charges to ensure bookings are not rolled in many cases. Container and chassis shortages are also an issue which is adding to the challenges.
It is not clear how long this surge will last and carriers are reinserting previously cancelled sailings and adding extra loaders in some cases to respond. Ocean carriers have also received scrutiny and some level of pressure from both the FMC and the Chinese government to keep rates at a reasonable level which seems to have stemmed the tide of price increases more recently. Some carriers are indicating the increased level of activity will continue through November which confirms it is being caused by more than just the peak season.
Since space remains tight and premium prices are a continuing reality to ensure cargo moves, we recommend booking as early as possible and building in the possibility of week or two delays to account for rolled bookings. Planning for increased cost to help ensure timely sailings is also an unfortunate reality at this time. Please contact us if we can be of assistance in helping to manage your logistics needs and we will work on the best options available and continue to monitor any changes in the marketplace.