According to the latest analysis by the shipping analysis agency Sea-Intelligence, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the volume of global container ships dropped by 6.8% in the first half of this year.
Even though China has fully resumed work and production, and European and American countries have restarted economic activities, the import and export trade is still unbalanced. The number of containers exported from China is increasing and the number of containers imported from abroad to China is decreasing. This imbalance is particularly reflected in China-US routes.
In September 2020, when the cargo from China went to the west coast of the United States, that is, Los Angeles, the sea freight of a 40HQ immediately broke through 4000 USD, the first time in 100 years.
Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, said: “The cargo volume in July this year was very good, ranking seventh in the 114-year history of the Port of Los Angeles.
According to the trend of empty container return trips in June and July, the expected imports from Asia to the Los Angeles port will also increase,” Seroka said, noting that the total number of empty containers in 2020 has fallen by 18.7%.
At the same time, in view of the pessimistic expectations about the direction of US policy, many American customers urged Chinese shippers to hurry up production and rush to deliver goods.
This kind of tight behavior of over-drafting future shipments of “Institutional Grain” has been hit by repeated foreign epidemics, and the economies of many countries have once again been sluggish, resulting in country’s export container volume far exceeding the import container volume, further causing shipping companies to return empty ships abroad and lose loads. For these container ships destined for China from overseas, there are not enough containers to be sent to China, resulting in an unusually tense situation of empty containers exported from China.
Shipping companies such as Hapag-Lloyd, MSC, MSK, ONE, etc. all began to issue notices of shortage of empty containers for exports from China last week.
Mainland China-Temporary Measures for Picking up Empty Containers:
In order to optimize the supply of equipment during peak seasons, They will implement temporary measures for the release of empty containers from warehouses in mainland China.
From now on, the warehouse designated by Hapag-Lloyd will only release empty containers 8 days before the estimated arrival time of the scheduled voyage.
Bestforworld advice Importers now need to cooperate with their own freight forwarders to arrange shipping plans reasonably, notify them in advance to arrange bookings, and have corresponding expectations and preparations for subsequent phenomena. If possible, it’s better to have your own Chinese freight forwarder.
You can quickly understand the inventory of empty containers at the any China terminal, and give priority to obtaining empty containers for loading at the factory, because the next problem of shipping from China to US，is no longer about freight or shipping Cost. If the price exceeds 4000 USD, it is not whether the cargo space is guaranteed, but whether you can get an empty container to load in the factory? This is also the first time in 100 years of shipping history. This damn COVID-19 has made everything very bad, and some seem to be just beginning. In the past few months, the hearts of importers from China to the United States have been carrying huge challenges and pressures.
To solve the recent and the risks of the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as the Sino-US trade and situation relations, is full of uncertain factors. If you want to ensure that your goods are imported from China smoothly, Bestforworld recommends that you read our previous blog post:
In the past two weeks, ocean freight has increased by 2600 USD compared to last year when shipping from China to US. In the previous blog, we introduced the main reasons for the increase in freight between China and US. There are actually three reasons to mention:
1 The volume of goods exported from China to US is much larger than the volume of goods exported from the United States to China, which makes it impossible to transport empty containers from the United States. In order to save costs, shipping companies choose small container ships with less carrying capacity to save costs.
2 Almost all shipping companies secretly unified their opinions last week and raised sea freight cost together. This behavior is like robbing American importers together. Bestforworld believes that the US government should adopt sanctions to ensure the vital interests of American importers.
3 With insufficient empty containers, it will become more and more difficult for all American importers to import from China. The logistics will become more unstable and full of uncertain factors. The delay of goods to American ports will It will become normal.