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Overheating container market

No rate reduction for ocean shippers due to continued surge and congestion. Even though there was hope for a usual slump after Chinese New Year as the Chinese economy is then completely flat for two weeks, compared to other years, Chinese New Year has not brought any calm to shipping this year.

Port congestion is still "widespread," there is a huge shortage of empty containers in China and goods are piling up in ports. Also, higher fuel costs are again leading to an increase in the bunker surcharges of ocean carriers. But in addition to higher bunker prices, carriers are facing a number of other cost-increasing factors this year, including skyrocketing charter rates for their vessels, higher landing prices, and increases in transportation and terminal costs. Shipping companies are preparing for the introduction of the Peak Season Surcharge (PSS), the surcharge they are forced to pass on for these additional costs, which will be introduced about four months earlier than normal this year.

In particular, we bring up the destination United Kingdom, to which rates for containers coming from Asia due to the Brexit are even higher than we are used to in times like these. A cost-effective solution is to transport it by sea as far as Rotterdam, after which we can reload it into another container or trailer to continue the route to its final destination in the UK. In that case our Customs department can relieve you of the burden of drawing up and registering the necessary documents.

The reliability of the sailing schedules in containerized liner shipping also reached a new low in January. In the first month of the year, only 34.9% of ships sailed on time. In the process, the average delay also increased. It is not that the blame for the unreliable sailing schedules lies entirely with the container shipping companies. They are often willing to step on the gas pedal quite hard, but now have to apply the brakes for severely congested seaports. The early introduction of a PSS is further evidence of the confidence that shipping lines have in their booking prospects for the second quarter.

In this unusual time in sea freight, Jordex is, as always, at your service to ensure that your transport is delayed as little as possible and we maintain close contact with the various shipping offices in loading and unloading ports. For questions, inquiries or more information about your booking, please contact your Jordex contact person.

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