Ocean, air freight, and trucking rates and trends for the week of January 24, 2018.
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Carriers implemented the January 21 GRI at $100-$200/FEU for both USWC and USEC. USWC rates have, in many cases, slid back to last week’s rates (and on some lanes, especially to the Pacific Northwest, rates are a bit lower).
With demand ratcheting up in advance of Chinese New Year, we expect the February 1 GRI to stick. Carriers have also announced a PSS for February 1.
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, space will be more difficult to secure through the start of Chinese New Year.
If possible, share a forecast with your Flexport team so that they can help secure space in a crowded pre-CNY market. For more Chinese New Year preparation strategies, click here.
For now, supply and demand are in balance, but we’re already seeing significant increases in demand for cargo ex-China. Demand -- and rates -- will continue to rise as we approach Chinese New Year.
Capacity will be constrained to both the US and the EU.
As for South Asia, we’re noticing that space is especially tight out of New Delhi.
Share a forecast with your Flexport team, so that we can help you secure space. Air capacity is already constrained, and ocean-to-air conversions will exacerbate the issue as we approach Chinese New Year.
A number of factors are converging to drive up trucking rates and tighten capacity: winter weather conditions, the recently implemented ELD mandate, growing import volume at U.S. ports, and nationwide driver shortages. This means delays, and often extra fees, for importers.
We recently wrote a detailed account of the drayage situation at major U.S. ports -- check it out here.
Congestion is severe at the ports of Charleston, Jacksonville, Norfolk, and Savannah, with drivers reporting long wait times (in the case of Norfolk, these are stretching as long as 3-5 hours).
We’re seeing chassis shortages at the ports of Dallas, Newark, New York, and Oakland. If your cargo is routing through any of these ports, you may experience delays or chassis split fees.