As we approach the middle of peak shipping season and deadlines to get products in before the holidays loom, freight continues to throw a wrench into everyone’s plans. The struggles we dealt with earlier this year have now quadrupled and the scramble to get any goods to the US warehouses is a very real issue. Here’s the state of freight for September 2021.
Container shortages and rolling vessel schedules continue to plague Chinese ports making it difficult to get products out. Container pricing is rising by the week with 40-foot containers on US sailings ranging between $25K to $32K, depending on how badly you want your goods out of China. Covid outbreaks onboard vessels continue to cause further delays as vessels need to halt operations to quarantine.
The logistics issues don’t end when your vessel leaves China. All ocean ports across the US, from Boston to Miami and Houston to Long Beach, are packed with container ships arriving to unload. Lines of ships must anchor offshore waiting for their turn to unload, sometimes for days or even weeks at a time before they’re finally able to berth. Truckers and chassis are in high demand and short supply, charging premium prices to move your goods to warehouses across the country. Unfortunately, there are not enough transportation outlets to meet demand and many containers remain at the port awaiting their turn to move on to their final destinations.
The rail systems are struggling as much as the ports with too many containers to move and not enough workers or space to move or store them. With trucks and chassis in short supply, your containers sadly wait for rescue in expanded overflow rail yards.
The best advice I can give you today is “expect everything to delay”. It’s not the advice I want to give, but it’s what we are all seeing at every leg of transit. Your goods will deliver. The question is will they deliver to you on time. Some will. We at GPI are working all avenues to get your goods to you in any way possible. We’re working hard for you. Our goal is to get your games on the shelves before the holidays.