Ocean and air freight rates and trends for the week of January 3, 2018.
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The January 1 GRI was implemented at $300/FEU for the USWC, $400/FEU for the USEC, and about $200/FEU for Asia-Europe. Further rate increases are expected as the month continues.
Chinese New Year will begin on February 16. Factories in China will be closed and/or operating at diminished capacity for at least 4 weeks around that time.
Because of increased demand, rates will stay up and space will be more difficult to secure -- both trends that will continue through the start of Chinese New Year. End-of-year blank sailings have led to cargo overflows, further tightening space this week.
These strategies can help keep your supply chain moving in advance of Chinese New Year (CNY):
Check out more ways to prepare here!
For Europe - U.S. services, especially from the UK, winter weather is likely to cause delays. We’re also seeing equipment shortages in many inland locations due to high demand.
Final numbers are still being tallied, but it’s looking like 2017 was a record year for air freight. There’s plenty of momentum for air heading into 2018, thanks to steady demand for e-commerce products, service cancellations, and Chinese New Year.
What does this mean for you? We can expect rates to stay high, and space will remain difficult to secure in the coming weeks. Chinese New Year will maintain pressure on both rates and space, as importers rush to get their products out of China before February 16.
The ports of New York / New Jersey, Savannah, Charleston, and Norfolk announced closures on Wednesday, January 3 and Thursday, January 4, due to winter weather conditions. If your cargo is routing through either of these ports, you’ll probably see delays. These closures will impact operations for up to a week.
Furthermore, this type of weather is always hard on trucking operations, as it causes mechanical, service, and capacity issues in impacted regions.
If you have cargo routing through any of these areas, keep an eye out for delays or rescheduled pickups.
The Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) has increased
As of January 1, 2018, U.S. Customs has increased the MPF. The new minimum and maximum are:
The percentage used to calculate the MPF will remain the same, at 0.3464%.