Another week, another record for container shipping spot rates. And alarmingly for shippers, upward rate momentum is accelerating.
Already sky-high ocean freight spot rates were pushed even higher this week, spiking to new highs on transpacific services with a 25% rise from Asia to the US East Coast taking prices to more than $9,000/FEU, and a 15% increase to the US West Coast – which crossed the $6,000/FEU mark, according to
Vessel delays and container dwell times at South China’s key Yantian Port have been worsening over the last week and the port is expected to remain congested throughout the month, based on container dwell time data from logistics visibility specialist Project44 – with container equipment availab
Supply chain congestion surrounding the Pearl River Delta will undoubtedly ripple to global supply chains, given the volume of goods and exports that flow out of southern China. Annual throughput at Yantian is more than 13 million TEUs.
Both the 2M Alliance of Maersk and MSC, and THE Alliance comprising Ocean Network Express (ONE), Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming and HMM ,are dropping calls at Yantian International Container Terminal (YICT) due to the situation, while Maersk said it was also omitting one call at the nearby Shekou port.
Ocean freight spot rates rose yet again this week from their already record-high levels, across the eight major East-West trades assessed by Drewry.
U.S. import demand remains historically high. And yet, containerized imports could pull back, at least temporarily, because the trans-Pacific shipping system has bounced against its max-capacity ceiling and can no longer bear the full load.
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Peak shipping season is coming soon — and the “parking lot” of container ships stuck at anchor off the coast of California is still there, with Oakland surpassing Los Angeles/Long Beach as the epicenter of congestion. West Coast port delays are having severe fallout for liner schedules.
There is little chance of congestion in the supply chain being resolved before the fourth quarter of the year, although some signs of improvement may begin to appear in time for the traditional peak season.