John S. Connor is advising customers to plan bookings well in advance to secure space and manage further supply chain disruptions.
A lack of container availability has prompted the increase of freight rates in the Far East trade lanes. High demand to replenish inventories depleted during the pandemic has sent freight rates soaring. Rates are as much as 175% higher to the USWC and 85% higher to the USEC compared to last year. Many carriers are opting to ship empty containers back to China in lieu of cargo in hopes of turning the equipment around for export more quickly, to take advantage of the bloated rates. The flood of imports has also caused bottleneck issues at the major ports of LA/LB and NY/NJ.
The Speciality Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA) has reported that German carrier Hapag-Lloyd decided to suspend US agricultural exports for the foreseeable future. This has prompted complaints to the FMC that carriers are purposely refusing to ship U.S. exports. Petitions have been filed to suspend demurrage and detention charges that carriers are levying as a way to expedite the return of empty containers. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handled 620,000 empty outbound containers in October, up 35% year over year.
We are advising our customers to plan bookings weeks out to better the chance of getting space and to plan for further supply chain disruptions.
If you have questions or concerns about bookings, please contact your representative or firstname.lastname@example.org.