Competitive Edge

October 27th, 2021

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Ocean Freight Market Update

IMPORT: Europe –> North America:

Port congestion is increasing once again at Long Beach with over 80 vessels waiting to dock. Savannah ports are still very congested and alternate routes are recommended.

Rates: Expecting rates to stay consistent the rest of Q4.

Space: Very tight/critical

Capacity: Tight – inland ports are a bit better, however main ports still are having equipment shortages.

TIPS: With capacity tight, it is recommended to book on premium services. Recommend to book 5 weeks in advance with premium service. Rerouting options away from Savannah are highly recommended.

EXPORT: North America –> Asia:

Rates: November GRI expected, focused on reefers and some carriers are also implementing GRIs on dry containers.

Capacity: Steady for Standard Containers, space becoming more available.

TIPS: Looking into re-routing options may be helpful to avoid port congestion at LGB and OAK. Booking 4-6 weeks in advance is recommended to secure equipment and space.

IMPORT: Asia -> North America 

Rates: Premium rates are steady, no GRI predicted as rates remain trending downwards. No clear path for how low rates may go or if this is a new ‘constant’. Demand is lower than previous weeks which aids in rates decreasing.

Space: Very tight with long docking wait time at LGB. While rates are decreasing, demand is staying at high consistent levels.

Equipment Availability: near-normal conditions, except limited 45HC availability.

TIPS: Savannah Port is critical for port congestion, avoid Savannah and LGB whenever possible until further notice. Work on booking 5 weeks in advance.

Freight News

Container ship accidents in Pacific increasing as imports boom

On Friday, the container ship Zim Kingston lost around 40 containers in heavy seas and the following day the containers aboard the ship caught fire. The ship was heading to Vancouver, with a full load, when around 40 containers fell overboard at the mouth of the Straits of Juan del Fuco due to the rough seas, said the U.S. Coast Guard and reported by American Shipper. 

On Saturday, around 10 containers were on fire, with a couple containers containing a hazardous material. Then on Sunday, Transport Canada restricted all drones and aircrafts from coming within two nautical miles of the accident and began to coll the hull by spraying it with cold water.  

Unfortunately, the fallout for this accident does create some headaches for the shippers involved. Shippers with undamaged boxes aboard will face many delivery delays and the ship itself will likely be out of service for a chunk of time.

The congestion continues as billion’s worth of cargo is stuck on container ships off California

The congestion at the ports in Southern California are continuing to not see any relief. Record numbers of container ships waiting offshore is still an issue, as 79 container ships were waiting off Los Angeles and Long Beach on Thursday, according to American Shipper. Terminals, trucks, trains, and warehouses are overworked with too many vessels arriving with too much cargo for them all to handle.

According to Marine Exchange data, the 79 container ships as well as 6 additional cargo vessels carrying containers, had capacity of 597,250 TEU’s, which is about 28% more than the Port of Los Angeles imported during the entire month of September. It is suggested that the cargo that is currently sitting off the ports of LA and Long Beach are worth over $26 billion.

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