To Our Valued Customers:
We know the situation impacting all of us is evolving hourly it seems, we wanted to continue to advise you all of what we are seeing and experiencing in the market. At Laufer, we are committed to providing you with as much information as possible as quickly as possible, understanding of course that the events are quite fluid and changing rapidly.
So here is a shortlist of what we are seeing so far today:
Market Conditions: Vessel space and equipment availability continue to be a challenge for US exporters on the Transpacific trade. Vessel space is booked out up to 6 weeks to Asia as well as India and Pakistan. We expect these adverse conditions to continue through April and into May.
Blank Sailings: Good news, the majority of blank sailings from Asia have ended. Bad news, with the blank sailings departing Asia 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: Ocean carriers have been successful in taking increases on March 1st and April 1st. There are several Mid-April GRI’s also. GRI’s have been ranging between $50 and $300 depending on carrier and trade lane. We expect carriers to push for additional increases on May 1st also.
Malaysia Exports: Due to COVID-19, Malaysia has issued a Control Movement Order for container haulage. Only commodities that are approved by the government may be moved from the port. These items include agriculture, livestock, farming, fisheries and other essential items. If you are exporting to Malaysia, please confirm with your customer that they are able to pick up the container at destination prior to export.
India Exports: India has announced a 3 week lock down beginning on March 24th. Ports and truckers have been declared essential services and will remain working. However, CMA has advised that the truckers have vanished and only 10% remain available. Please work with your consignees to confirm that containers can be picked up to avoid potential demurrage and detention fees.
Please Update Your Bookings: We have seen an increase in unused bookings. If you anticipate that your cargo will not materialize, we ask that you please update your booking or cancel the affected containers. This will allow us to repurpose your booking or to cancel with the ocean carrier.
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.