Competitive Edge

September 1st, 2021

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Ocean Freight Market Update

Asia –> North America: 

Rates: Slight increased from August on most destinations, but  certain origins decreased
Space: Limited
Equipment Availability: Limited/Under Capacity
TIPS: Depending on port congestion, consider trucking cargo to nearby origin ports with earlier departure bookings. Transloading upon arrival to US seaport is also a good option to avoid long delays with rail. 

Europe –> North America: 

Rates: Expected to keep increasing into Q4
Space: Limited
Capacity: Tight – Fewer bookings to inland rail ramp destinations
TIPS: With capacity tight, it is recommended to book on premium services. Recommend to book 4-5 weeks in advance

North America –> Asia: 

Rates: Steady, with some very low costs from USWC to Chinese base ports
Space: Standard
Capacity: Steady for Standard Containers
TIPS: Recommend to book 2-3 weeks in advance

Freight News

Hurricane Ida Brings Upon FEMA Demand for Carriers to Move Relief Cargo

Hurricane Ida has struck the U.S. Gulf Coast, and the effects are  still inconclusive as of now. As we know from past hurricanes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency  is the point of contact for relief. Natural disasters like these bring upon demand for the trucking industry. Not only this but FEMA is paying up to secure truckers for aid. 

According to Freightwaves,  a different perspective can be seen. FEMA getting capacity will be difficult due to the circumstances of the market. With the numerous rate increases, companies are expecting their freight to be moved. During past hurricanes, the shipping market had more capacity freedom making FEMA a great source to fulfill space. In these market conditions, everyone is battling for space. This poses an issue for FEMA in which they may need to look for alternative methods. 

Small carriers are the ones who can take advantage of the relief freight the most. As they haven’t made huge commitments and are able to capitalize on spot rates at higher costs. This may pose as the backup opportunity for FEMA. As all they care about is getting the capacity and not the rates. In the end, we all hope that hurricane Ida bring the least amount of disruption possible for both the local communities and the shipping industry. 

Cargo Delays at Shanghai Airport Due to Covid Lockdowns

Chinese government has suspended critical warehouse operations at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Freighter flights, ground transportation, and customs have all been stopped in Shanghai. But passenger aircrafts are still accepting cargo. This comes after multiple positive Covid cases were reported at the Pudong Air Cargo Terminal, causing its closure. Only one terminal remains in operations in Shanghai and this may change very quickly. 

Staffing shortages have already caused delays and cancellations to flights for over a week. Many are resorting to transporting cargo to smaller airports in China or even South Korea. People are awaiting a statement from the airport authorities regarding the situation as nobody knows how long the Covid disruptions will occur. 

Good news from the Meishan terminal in Ningbo that vessel operations are reopening. This comes 10 days after one Covid case was reported which cause the terminal to shut down. That gives an estimated reference point to the timeline we can predict for the Shanghai airports resumptions of operations. 

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