Empty equipment bottlenecks in Asia and the continuing tight capacity situation are causing import costs to rise continuously. Initially, this was only evident in HC containers, but standard containers are now also affected by this development. In some cases, prices of more than 5000 dollars are being called for the carriage of a 20-foot sea freight container.
Despite all the efforts of the forwarders push the relocation of equipment from other regions, this situation can not be alleviated in short term. Particularly affected by the bottlenecks are the regions India, Hong Kong, South China and North China.
Due to the reduced departures, the ships are working at maximum capacity and it can be assumed that this situation will continue at least until Chinese New Year. The first shipping companies are already imposing a booking freeze, as many container ships are full. The market situation for imports from Asia continues to worsen drastically. Some shipping companies are imposing expensive surcharges. In some places there are no sea containers, charter ships can not be booked because all capacities are sold out.
The situation for alternative transport options (rail and air) is not much better. Due to COVID-19 and the slump in passenger flights, there is a lack of freight capacity on these aircrafts, which is causing price increasing sharply here as well.
We do not expect that the situation will begin to normalise before April/May. Due to the Corona pandemic, the shipping companies have adjusted their shipping routes, which has led to a shortage of capacity and much longer transit times. These capacities can not be restored so quickly now. In addition, there is a shortage of empty containers from other locations. As a result, transport prices are exploding. In some cases transport charges have tripled compared to the same period last year.
In order to be able to react to these developments as quickly as possible, we are in close contact with our Production Departments in Far East. Nevertheless, we recommend you to plan your requirements for the coming season and send us your orders to ensure a good supply chain.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.