Spurred by economic growth in both the U.S. and Europe – import volumes from Asia grew by over 7 percent in June – a weak container market turned bullish just in time for the holiday shipping season. As trade lane volumes continue to gain strength, capacity is playing a key role in this shift.
Two of the largest carrier alliances, Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance, have announced the first rounds of blank sailings during China’s National Holiday, known as Golden Week, from October 1-7, 2017. Blank sailings reduce capacity in the short term and result in demand ripples for weeks to come. Shippers looking to meet critical deadlines should take proactive measures to ensure timely receipt of seasonal goods.
For shippers, a strong peak season means:
- Rolled bookings
- Congestion and delays
- Equipment shortages
- Loop 3 service westbound, using Cosco Shipping’s Taurus
- Eastbound service out of Antwerp
- Loop 5, using CMA CGM’s Christophe Colomb
- WM1 service westbound, using Cosco Shipping’s Faith
- WM2 service, using CMA CGM’s Callisto
- PS4, PS6, EC3 service
Green recommends the following measures to minimize supply chain impact:
- BEWARE RATELATIONSHIPS. 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 September 15 general rate increase (GRI), is expected to bring increases of up to $600/FEU.
- 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.
- BE FLEXIBLE. Utilizing a freight forwarder can be priceless for seasonal shippers. 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. For more information, contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org.