It’s the end-of-year shipping crunch, but it’s feeling a little bit soft. Will we slide into December with barely a ripple? See what’s happening this month in November’s State of Freight.
Container demand is down as the winter months creep in and consumers worry about a recession. Peak season shipping which started in August saw a drastic drop in volume YoY worldwide. Consumers are beginning to spend less which means fewer products are being shipped from China and other countries around the world. Expect canceled or blank sailings in the next few months and into the new year as container lines reduce vessels and sailings. Freight prices are finally dropping to pre-pandemic levels.
Chinese New Year
The Lunar New Year in China begins early this year on January 22, 2023. Many factories will be shutting down around the second week of January meaning if you want your goods to ship before the shutdown, you must secure your vessel space early in December. Most orders for pre-CNY shipping are already underway. If you haven’t already, check with your GPI Team to see if your order can get on the water before the holiday begins.
The border crossing between China and Hong Kong is still slow due to continued pandemic restrictions. It’s currently still taking between two to five days to clear the border to get goods into Hong Kong port.
US East Coast Ports
The port of Savannah is very congested and is experiencing one to two week wait times before vessels are called in to berth. Be sure to add extra time for delivery to account for these delays. The rest of the East Coast ports are not experiencing these conditions and are operating at a normal pace with possible one to two day delays.
Although the West Coast backups are getting better, we’re still seeing heavy congestion in Oakland and Vancouver. LGB and LAX are beginning to clear.
The chassis shortage continues to be an issue on both US coasts as truckers encourage warehouses to accept live unloads. A dropped container at a warehouse also ties up the chassis which not only delays other shipments but can accrue hefty chassis rental charges.
We continue to see congestion at the West Coast rail yards as they try to clear dwelling units and move current containers at the same time. Expect rail delays, particularly from the West Coast to mid-US.
GPI’s freight department hopes your holiday season is full of happiness and joy. In the meantime, we’ll keep things moving and keep you updated on what we’re experiencing in the state of freight!! Happy Holidays and Have a freight day!!