Industry News

Freight Rate Update: August 2021


Air Freight – From Asia to the U.S. we are seeing rates continue to climb. The lack of ocean space and some new product launches by importers have increased the demand for air freight. Available space is still tightening but not as dramatic as the previous 2-3 months.

Ocean Freight – Rates from Europe are also starting to increase as ocean freight space from Europe to the U.S. has tightened dramatically in the past 6 weeks. Space out of Asia continues to be a challenge with both premium and diamond surcharges implemented by the ocean carriers. Bookings are approximately 4-8 weeks out and GRI’s are anticipated.

Rail & Truck – We are seeing rail delays up to 10 days particularly from the West Coast traveling to the Midwest (see U.S. Midwest section). Truck space is also extremely limited.

U.S. East Coast – Space is extremely tight and rates continue to increase. We have seen import rates increase by nearly $1k per month. Export is seeing stable rates but space and equipment is very tight. For both import and export, we recommend booking at least 3-4 weeks in advance.

U.S. West Coast – For import, there are increased dwell times due to rail car shortages, gate capacity restrictions, and limited reservations available.

U.S. Midwest – Chicago rail and terminal delays are at an all-time high. There are continued chassis shortages and extreme congestion. All Chicago rail terminals have limited daily allocations and in-gate reservations. We are seeing rates nearing $10k-$15k per container to reach the Midwest. More steamship lines are restricting the amount of cargo they’ll accept. In some cases, they will give preference to bookings only to coastal ports or implement destination surcharges ranging from $1k-$5k per container. This is a very fluid situation and we are continuing to stay on top of new details.

Union Pacific rail has resumed accepting containers from the West Coast to Chicago but is not at full capacity yet. All industry indicators show a strong holiday retail season meaning the supply chain will see further stress and rates will increase.

We are working with our customers to trans-load cargo using less congested routes. We also offer air freight services, which in some cases may be more attractive than ground. For more information, please contact Ronald Vincent, our Director of Logistics.

We are continuing to monitor all lanes, ports, and services to provide you with the best possible service at the best possible price.

M.E. Dey and Co. monitors the market daily to find competitive rates that pair well with exceptional transportation services. We provide fixed-rate contracts in addition to standard market rates. Contact us to talk with a representative or request a quote to get started.