This week's trends in ocean and air freight rates, with extended coverage of peak season and notes about port congestion, chassis shortages, and other freight market news.
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The issue has been especially bad for the last few weeks, and this week is no different; in fact, it’s compounded by the rush to ship products for Black Friday (November 24). Space is very tight, and rates are high. The latest figures from TAC Index show that average prices from Asia to North America increased by 17.7% year-over-year in October.
Another illustrative statistic, from Cargo Facts: On November 5, HACTL (Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited) set a new record by handling 102 freighters in a single day, “a figure that most of the world’s airports do not even see in an entire month,” as Cargo Facts noted.
We do expect rates to stay strong next week, but, with so much Black Friday cargo getting pushed out this week, we don’t expect another sharp rate increase before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Airlines simply can’t keep up with the demand, creating significant backlogs that lead to uplift delays.
Book your air shipments in advance -- at least 10 days before the cargo ready date, if possible.
For urgent shipments, you should also consider booking direct flights. It's more expensive, but direct flights will avoid potential delays at transshipment airports.
The Nov. 15 GRI was canceled, and rates to the U.S. are down slightly. Asia - Europe rates are down as well.
This is the traditional peak season for Asia to Oceania -- rates are high, and space is very tight. If you’re shipping to Australia, we recommend booking 2 weeks in advance.
The Loadstar reports that global container throughput is up 7.7% year-over-year, the highest growth rate since early 2011.
Savannah continues to see a severe chassis shortage. If your cargo is being routed through Savannah, you may see chassis split fees and/or storage fees if your trucker needs to make an extra trip to pick up a chassis.
Beginning December 18, truck drivers will be required to utilize Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). This will change the game for long-distance trips, and after implementation, we’ll see a slight increase in rates across the FTL market.
As of November 1, California has increased its diesel tax to 36 cents per gallon (this is a 20-cent increase). We’re seeing higher fuel surcharges from trucking providers as a result.