Industry News

Freight Rate Update: January 2021

Ronald Vincent | M.E. Dey & Co.

Air FreightRates decreased the last 2 weeks of December for standard and economy air freight services from both Asia and Europe.

We do expect air freight rates from Asia to spike starting next week in the lead-up to Chinese New Year which starts on February 12th this year.

As ocean freight space from Asia is incredibly tight, we expect many customers to opt for air freight in the next 3-4 weeks which will drive rates up.

If you have any shipments that you must move before the Chinese New Year, please book with us as soon as you can. Please contact us with shipment details. We can then provide standard options/pricing as well as propose creative solutions that may meet your service requirements while also reducing additional costs.

 

Trans Atlantic Westbound (import)

 

  • Import volumes from Europe remain stable. Space is a bit tight, but generally, we have not seen major delays or equipment shortages.

 

Trans Atlantic Eastbound (export)

 

  • Rates remain stable. Equipment availability is spotty in some areas. We are seeing some delays at both coasts due to rail and coastal port congestion.
  • We encourage customers to book at least a week in advance.

 

Trans Pacific Westbound (export)

 

  • We have seen slight rate increases on some lanes, but overall rates are stable.
  • We are seeing some delays at both coasts due to rail and coastal port congestion.
  • We encourage customers to book at least a week in advance.

 

Trans Pacific Eastbound (import)

 

A new year, but the same old song and dance on TPEB lanes.

It is hard to believe but space is even tighter in January than it was in the 4th quarter of 2020. With Chinese New Year around the corner on top of the lack of port capacity, equipment, and what I consider to be a frustrating lack of proper management by the steamship lines what was a very difficult situation in the 4th quarter now borders on the absurd.

When space is available the steamship lines are, in my opinion, gouging customers with ‘premium service surcharges’. We have already seen surcharges as high as $ 3000 per container (yes, this is in addition to the base ocean freight rate) on some lanes.

And while this is supposed to ensure that containers are available and will move on the vessel as booked, there is no guarantee.

Steamship lines are still stating that they cannot guarantee that containers will be available or that containers will definitely move on the booked vessel. However, if you don’t pay the premium surcharge on most lanes from China and Taiwan containers will not load until after the Chinese New Year. And it is only January 4th!

We continue to monitor capacity and port congestion levels to adjust routings for the best possible service.


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.

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