Over the past several years, the traditional peak shipping season has fluctuated as the industry adjusted to market and infrastructure shifts. In 2017, capacity has already begun to tighten for the U.S. East Coast while West Coast ports settle into mega-vessel operations, showing they too are ready for the holiday surge. Carrier services can fluctuate drastically from July through November as volume tightens and capacity drives price increases, often weekly.
For shippers, a bullish market could mean:
- Rolled bookings
- Congestion and delays
- Equipment shortages
Green recommends some precautions for the 2017 holiday season:
- BOOK EARLIER. Traditionally, shippers wait to import high-value merchandise until later in the season. Shipping early and utilizing alternative warehousing in the U.S. can prevent supply shortages during critical holiday shopping days.
- BEWARE THE RATELATIONSHIP. Cheap rates mean cheap space. After several unprofitable years, carriers have also become price sensitive and typically give space to the highest bidder when the market is hot. The August 1 general rate increase (GRI), is expected to bring increases of up to $600/FEU.
- BE FLEXIBLE. Utilizing a freight forwarder can be priceless when your holiday profits are on the line. Having options for rolled bookings or air freight can mean the difference between landing in the red…or black.
Green Worldwide works closely with our global partner network to provide viable options for our clients. Please reach out to your Green Worldwide sales and operational contacts if you have any questions.