The October State of Freight
October 12, 2022

October is here and there’s no shortage of tricks and treats in the freight world.  Treats?!?!  Might there be something to smile about when we talk freight?  What could possibly be so encouraging?

Covid border restrictions continue in Hong Kong as the pandemic carries on.  This has been ongoing for some time and factories now schedule deliveries of goods destined for the Hong Kong port well in advance. If you notice your goods deliver to port more than a week before the actual sailing, border crossing restrictions is the reason for this.  Yantian / Shenzhen port is in full operation and swiftly moving goods on to their destinations. Don’t let your guard down though.  It’s typhoon season in China and Hong Kong which can shut down ports without warning.

West Coast ports are steadily moving and processing containers.  We’re nearing the end of the peak shipping season but we’re not there yet.  Strikes have been put on hold which is great news, but there’s still a good deal to fix.  Aging port equipment, lack of labor and truckers as well as chassis shortages continue to slow the struggling supply chain.  Vessel wait times along the West Coast have shortened a little.  The ever persistent strain on the west coast is easing ever so slightly.

East Coast ports are starting to feel the congestion of peak season.  Wait times can be over 1 week before vessels berth and unload.  Truckers and chassis are still in high demand.  Hurricane season is also in full swing which can shut down ports without notice.  Expect a few weeks’ wait time after your goods arrive at port for warehouse delivery.

Hurricane Ian has made it very difficult for truckers to navigate the Southeastern portion of the East Coast. If your warehouses are in that area, please be patient.  Truckers must wait for roads to clear before making their deliveries.

Despite the avoidance of a strike, rails in the US are still slow going.  Long hours and labor shortages still continue to put a kink in the train sector of the supply chain.

So what’s the good news this month???  THE PRICES ARE DROPPING!!!  The container shortage is easing in China causing spot rates on containers to drop.  They’re dropping by about 20% over last year’s prices!  It’s projected that prices will stay lower through the Chinese New Year.  Only time will tell, but this logistics coordinator is seeing the numbers and hoping the projections hold true!

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