As most of you will know the shipping industry has faced significant challenges since the start of the pandemic which has had a major impact on the cost and service levels from Shipping Lines for container shipments for relocating employees.
As a member of the British Association of Removers Bournes use the Movers Trading Club (MTC) to provide ocean freight services to secure the most competitive freight rates.
The MTC has provided the following update on the current shipping market which we wanted to share as it provides a useful understanding of the current regionalised capacity and cost position.
mtc shipping update
United States West Coast including Vancouver
Remains very difficult. Congestion and the resultant delays in Los Angeles, coupled with unprecedented demand continue to cause issues throughout the West Coast.
Los Angeles and Oakland are still experiencing delays, limits on available allocation and overbooking due to vessel schedule changes mean it’s difficult to secure bookings and when bookings are accepted they are increasingly likely to be rolled or experience other delays.
Seattle and Portland aren’t being served via the US West Coast due to this congestion. Rail and trucking services over the US East Coast are possible but are more expensive and there is the risk of delays on the struggling rail and trucking services.
Blank sailings and vessel delays caused by this congestion mean cargo being rolled is still a common occurrence as carriers work to bring their schedules back on track.
United States and Canadian East Coast
Seeing some improvements, but due to continued unprecedented demand space remains tight, which impacts booking availability. Additionally, the USEC can also feel the knock-on effects of delays and vessel changes from the USWC. Customers are advised to book as far ahead as possible.
Continues to suffer. Increased congestion at the transhipment ports in Asia and the increase in feeder costs from Asia to Oceania continue to drive the rates upwards as carriers seek to address these issues. The general market continues to experience rolling suspensions on this service, while the MTC is usually exempt of these suspensions, our small allocations are quickly filled, with the next available vessel with space often over 8 weeks ahead.
Is the one area where freight rates have and are being reduced, as carriers fight for cargo on the return leg to get equipment back to Asia. Space and bookings shouldn’t be a problem, as carriers have introduced additional capacity on the lucrative Asia Westbound route.
Middle East, India and Subcontinent
Suffering due to increased demand, a lack of capacity and carriers omitting the Middle East calls on their Far East services in an effort to get vessels back on schedule. Rates from some lines have recently increased, significantly on 20ft equipment.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Remain static. Many carriers are only accepting bookings on a case-by-case basis as there is little regular traffic to maintain allocations, which means customers need to be wary it may take some time to have bookings accepted.
Has seen services removed, and coverage lessened in an effort to improve schedules back to Asia. Many ports are no longer called direct increasing both rates and transit times. This means booking to some locations has become very difficult and costs have generally increased.
Due to the purchase of DAL by Hapag Lloyd, this means we only have two options on this route now. Additionally, the inland African locations served through South Africa continue to experience issues, carriers are no longer offering these services due to inland infrastructure issues, or when accepted they will likely experience delays.
West and East Africa
Again suffering from limited carriers and services, while some improvement has been made to the coverage initially offered, these trades remain expensive and unreliable.
We are seeing a shortage of 20ft containers available out of the UK, particularly to the USA so in some cases we are needing to book 40ft containers at additional cost where a shipment needs to depart urgently.
MTC contracts have a quarterly fuel review built into them, this is a mechanism which compares the average price of fuel quarter on quarter and then adjusts the rates up or down based on this change. With the current energy supply issues, we are obviously seeing significant increases when these fuel reviews take place, which in some cases can add as much as $350 to a container freight cost.
As always at Bournes our team is working hard to proactively plan with our clients to minimise the impact of the global shipping challenges on their relocation programmes. If you have any questions about the update or your individual circumstances please don't hesitate to contact us.
With thanks to Paul Felton, Commercial Manager, Movers Trading Club