To Our Valued Customers:
Market Conditions – Space conditions for US exports on the Transpacific trade from the US West Coast and East Coast are becoming a challenge. Vessel space is booked out 2-4 weeks to Asia and 4-6 weeks to India and Pakistan. As we move into the 2nd quarter we expect these adverse conditions to continue.
Blank Sailings: Ocean carriers have blanked 111 sailings in February and March due to Chinese New Year and the Coronavirus. This means 111 vessels have not sailed from Asia to the US. 63 blank sailings were due to Chinese New Year and 48 due to the Coronavirus. Approximately 80 blank sailings were from Asia to the West Coast and 30 blank sailings to the East Coast. With the blank sailings in February and March, US exporters will see this disruption in April and May as this is when these vessels were scheduled to arrive US ports.
Container Shortage: Due to the lack of imports into the US, we are beginning to see a shortage of equipment in some inland locations. We foresee this problem getting worse as many of the blanked sailings ETA’s are still to come which will delay the resupply of containers.
General Rate Increase: The environment is right for the ocean carriers to implement GRI’s. Carriers were successful in taking an increase on March 1st. We are seeing GRI’s between $50 and $300 depending on carrier and trade lanes. We expect carriers to push for additional increases on March 15th and April 1st.
PIL to Exit Transpacific Trade: Pacific International Lines (PIL) will withdraw its service to the Transpacific market and no longer call the US West Coast. The last sailing will be in March 2020.
Laufer Call for Action: Noting all of the challenges in the export market for the next couple of months, we encourage our clients to speak with their customers and obtain a forecast for future orders. Please consult with your Laufer Export Sales and Booking Specialist to find sailing schedules that meet your needs in order to reserve vessel space and equipment.
Our #1 priority as always is to help maintain our customers’ competitiveness, to keep your cargo flowing as quickly and as consistently as possible, and to continue to communicate effectively along the way. Our nimbleness, market awareness, and “Built Different” philosophy enable us to do this - as your partner.
Thank you very much for all your support.